BabyGigs Artistic Director, Eleanor Hodgkinson is a graduate of the RNCM and RAM, and is a sought-after soloist and chamber musician. She has performed throughout the UK and in North America, Denmark, Holland, Germany and France. Her versatility has lead to numerous collaborations with composers, ensembles and other artists. She is one of the country's foremost piano teachers, with posts at Leeds College of Music, the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Holloway, University of London. She also holds an MA in Music Psychology from the University of Sheffield. Passionate about music education, Eleanor is both a writer and performer, bringing together music and other art forms to create innovative concerts and events.
BabyGigs was founded in Market Harborough in 2014. At the time Eleanor was frustrated at not being able to go to normal concerts with her children as they were too young to sit quietly. However, as both a musician and mother she knew the value of introducing high quality live music to children from a very young age, as well as the intrinsic enjoyment that attending a concert brings to the whole family. Among other parents she discovered there was a desire for classical concerts that were fun, interactive and family friendly - and allowed noise and movement from the audience members. BabyGigs was born! Since then there have been over 200 BabyGigs, with instruments ranging from flutes to double bass, bass trombone to harp; there are now several regular venues and a healthy cake-eating habit! To find out more about a typical concert click here.
Research suggests that there is a strong possibility that the origin of language is in music: babies respond to intonation in speech long before they understand words. Equally, physical responses such as swaying and bobbing happen instinctively to music. It appears that there is an innate musicality in mankind which makes it unsurprising that babies and children are so receptive to music!
Alongside its regular concert series for 0 to 5s, BabyGigs now extends into schools with its KoolGigs programme. This encompasses concerts and workshops, as well as larger bespoke events, and aims to inspire a lifelong love of musical creativity.