Monkey Chatter

Teaching children about multiculturalism and diversity is imperative from a young age. In fact, evidence suggests that a multicultural music education can enhance the moods of children, escalate their acceptance of other children, promote harmony and inclusion among children from different cultures, and strengthen their listening skills1. And with each new culture, there comes another new opportunity to inspire and captivate children as they learn about the world that they are growing up in. Children’s music education franchise Monkey Music is one brand that ensures multiculturalism and diversity are taught in such settings during children’s formative years in order to promote acceptance and inclusivity.

Giving children the necessary opportunities to absorb and interpret music from all over the world helps them understand who we are as a global community with no bias and an open mind. With Monkey Music’s teachers and principals coming from all over the world, their unique influence on the children and families who attend classes are opened up to cultures beyond that of their own, while equally being brought into a positive environment without judgement and the ability to think freely.

Monkey Music Highbury and Islington principal, Jessie Greer, comes from the United States and ensures her classes are taught in settings where children feel proud of embracing who they are and where they come from. Jessie believes celebrating the stories and cultures of everyone in a diverse setting is a factor in driving harmony in her classes while equally encouraging participation in all age groups.

“I always try to encourage my students to celebrate themselves,” explained Jessie. “Having the privilege to teach in a multicultural area is wonderful, and wherever I get the opportunity, I integrate music from all over the world into my classes. Music is an international language and it’s the best way for people to connect – especially for children while they’re learning in a free and inclusive space. Being in these settings and learning through music helps children enjoy their time together in a free-flowing environment that has no bias. It’s so inspiring seeing children share their home lives and connect with each other about their diversity. It’s so unique for children to be in a place where they’re not afraid to speak in their first language but continue to bond and connect with other children and families through a creative and freeing output like music - it should absolutely be encouraged.”

As well as westernised music, Monkey Music Tower Bridge and Southwark’s Evelini Quarrell, who is from Brazil, ensures her students are introduced to her own culture’s music in order to set the diverse and inclusive setting for her classes. As her students arrive for her classes, Evelini plays Brazilian music in the background and greets her students in their native language, whatever that may be. This open and inclusive approach is vital for students in understanding each other’s differences, which Evelini believes is the key towards creating equal value across her whole class.

“It’s really important for children to recognise and celebrate each other’s differences, and it will help them to respect each other while equally making them feel welcomed and valued in all different situations, including outside the Monkey Music class. Giving children the chance to absorb world cultures through music helps the development of the children’s brains as they are learning about the world that they’re growing up in. Being able to combine my own personality with unique approaches to all of the families involved in Monkey Music shows them how music can drive connections and build bridges with no fear of judgement,” said Evelini.

It’s not just principals who promote the inclusive and multicultural setting within Monkey Music, with teachers equally representing unique and proud cultures. Daria Kulesh, from North Caucasus, teaches Monkey Music classes across Tring, Watford, Borehamwood and other areas in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. As well as this, she is a touring folk singer and songwriter and is a part of a group of artists currently fundraising for Ukraine, which so far has raised £8,000. She uses her platforms to instil confidence in the children she teaches and uses her diversity and knowledge of cultures around the world to have a positive impact on her multicultural classes.

“You can see the positive impact encouraging multiculturalism through music has on children,” said Daria. “The feedback you get from them is immediate and sincere. They gain confidence and have wonderful interactions using music as a platform to communicate. I’m so privileged to be in a position to see the impact music has on children and families from all over the world – it’s pure magic! Not only this, but learning other languages through music is effective and inspiring, as many of my students come to my classes to improve their English. Opening children’s eyes to world cultures beyond their own is something I’m really proud to do, and I believe music is a beautiful way of bringing people of all ages, races and backgrounds together.”

If your child is showing an interest in music and you would like to introduce them to a whole world of cultures through an inspiring and creative medium, visit Monkey Music Classes!