Hi there, welcome to my blog! I’m Nadja, a bit of a mish-mash, a work-in-progress, lots of different strands all being woven together into a pattern that I don’t understand yet. However, that’s actually the reason for this blog – it’s very much a thinking out loud about all the different, at times seemingly disconnected, things that I’m passionate about. Broadly speaking, these can be summed up under the following headings: Children and how they learn, music and how it’s vital for kids, parenting with all its joys and frustrations, and finally the vision of grassroots societal change.
Here are a few of the strands…
I’m a mum. I have three beautiful children, and becoming a mum has changed and enriched my life in ways I could never have dreamed. It’s been over eight years of plenty of ups and downs and I feel very blessed. Watching children grow up, really watching them learn from scratch what we take for granted, for me is totally and utterly fascinating.
I am also a music teacher. That’s a strand I didn’t see coming, but one that goes right back to my earliest childhood. I started training with the Len Tyler Music School in 2016 and became a member of staff in 2017. Teaching babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers – and their grown-ups! – makes me feel fully alive. I love the energy in the room, that fantastic feeling when we’re all resonating together. I’m also enjoying getting to grips with our after-school curriculum – teaching older children is very different and no less satisfying!
For four years, I ran a natural parenting playgroup. It became the place where you could share pretty much anything about bringing up kids, both struggles and joys. We exchanged birth stories, from ecstatic to traumatic and everything in between, breastfed in company, shared the joys, frustrations, preferences and safety tips around sleep – many of us bed-shared – and as our kids grew older, journeyed together in search of a positive approach to discipline, that magic mix of firm and warm that respects the individual child while setting the necessary boundaries. For many of us (myself included), this helped us a lot in processing our own childhood and to reflect on what we wanted for our children. While the group no longer meets, it took my thinking and way of being in new directions, and without it, I wouldn’t be where I am now.
I am a bookworm. Ever since I learned to read, books have been my friends, and I am planning to introduce you to a few along the way – look out for links in the blog articles. Although I’ve decided that I’m not a therapist, my degree in Complementary Therapies taught me the value of reading high quality, well-researched books, and to critically evaluate what I read. There are a few books that have profoundly shaped my journey – Sue Palmer’s “Toxic Childhood” set me on the road to seeking social change. Apart from volunteering with Home Start before my youngest was born (time that was incredibly well spent!), I don’t feel I have achieved much yet, but that’s where the weaving comes in – I am convinced that music in our schools is a powerful opportunity to bring about a real, lifelong change in the lives of children, especially those carrying the burdens of disconnection, poverty and disadvantage.
Supporting and underpinning all of this are two great loves, which I can never even begin to value enough – that of my husband, the best, most loyal companion I could ever ask for, and of God, whose fingerprints I can see all over my life.
Disclaimer: Please don’t think, based on what I’ve written, that I have “arrived”, either as a mum, or in any other way. This blog is not a representative picture of what my life is like, just snapshots of what catches my fancy at any given moment.