Tooters has been providing music classes for children aged between 0-7 years across various locations in Aberdeenshire since 1999.
Pamela Hossick, the founder of Tooters, began her career in music education as a primary music visiting specialist teacher before moving into secondary music teaching. Following the birth of her own children, Pamela began researching early years music education and the idea for Tooters was formed. After a series of trial sessions in her local village, Newtonhill, and additional training in Dalcroze Eurythmics and Kodaly Musicianship, Pamela revised and developed the program and it was fully launched in 2002 in Newtonhill and Stonehaven. Further classes soon followed, run by a team of qualified and experienced musicians. Tooters has also provided music sessions in private nurseries and playgroups as well as running CPD courses for practitioners within their own settings and at larger events both in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire.
Whilst overseeing Tooters, Pamela has continued her career in school teaching as well as instrumental instruction at Musiczone, her music school in Stonehaven. Following extensive training in Kodaly she worked as a Kodaly musicianship instructor in Aberdeenshire primary schools and nurseries. This led to work on the Sing-a-Ring Early Years music program where she was a trainer and a member of the steering group which worked to develop, promote and implement Sing-a-Ring across Aberdeenshire. In 2008, Pamela moved to a new post as music teacher responsible for music across the whole school, from Nursery to S6. After 4 years, and a year of PG Study, Pamela made the move into the early years classroom as the P1/2 class teacher as well as continuing her role as an early years specialist.
Innes Hearns is a music graduate, qualified instrumental tutor and early years music instructor with experience in arts administration, event management, retail management and human resources. She began her career as Administrator for the Aberdeen International Youth Festival before becoming Development/Education Officer for Satrosphere, Aberdeen’s first interactive Science Centre. She progressed to organising corporate charity events for an events management company before joining John Lewis where she gained experience in staff management and development, qualifying as an NVQ Assessor in Retail Management. Innes joined Pamela as a music tutor at Musiczone in 2003 and soon became a Tooters instructor after experiencing the benefits of the interactive early music program with her daughter. For the past 15 years, Innes has concentrated on pre-school music education and instrumental instruction, leading Tooters sessions in Stonehaven, Newtonhill and Portlethen alongside running a thriving music teaching practice.
Pamela and Innes have worked as a team for over a decade to develop extensive resources and activities that, through the Tooters program, provide an effective music education for young children. From the baby/toddlers in Tooter Tots, ante-pre and pre-school children in Tooters, through to our P1-3 children in the Toots classes, all experience developmental and age-appropriate activities which enhance social, emotional and physical development as well as supporting literacy, numeracy and, of course, musical awareness. The success of the Tooters program in providing a solid early musical foundation is evident by the number of our young people who have progressed to learning a musical instrument. At a recent concert given by the pupils of Musiczone, at least 80% of the young people performing had attended Tooters as a young child. The additional benefits of the program are more difficult to quantify, but the continued success of the program and the amount of parents/carers who return with subsequent children leads us to believe that Tooters provides activities that engage and stimulate young children and enhance many aspects of their learning and development through the joy of music.