Community Connections – Introducing The Rhythm Tree

Our community includes a range of independent organisations running their own programs, events and workshops on a regular basis in various venues across our park on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. This month we would like to introduce Gillian Lee, founder of The Rhythm Tree.

  • Please introduce yourself. What do you do?

My name is Gillian Lee and I am the founder and principal teacher at The Rhythm Tree.

  • What is The Rhythm Tree?

The Rhythm Tree is a joyful, family music making experience in a musically rich, pressure free and inclusive environment. Families with young children (aged 0-5 years) come together once a week to sing, dance, chant, laugh, play and connect. Our parents and caregivers also learn ways to facilitate spontaneous family music making in every day life.

  • What made you start The Rhythm Tree?

I immigrated to Australia from Scotland in 2005, where I had been a music adviser on curriculum development, providing music training for early years teaching professionals in organisations across the UK, including BBC Scotland. I had also run my own early years music company delivering structured music classes to young children from 0-6.  Moving to a new country caused me to pause and reflect on my teaching methods and to look more at the roots of my own love of music, as well as thinking about the cultures around the world which seem to create ‘musical people’.

After a lot of research (and soul searching) I came to the realisation that children can learn music as easily as they learn to walk and talk, if they grow up in a rich musical environment. Unfortunately we don’t all have that privilege. In fact even those families who consider themselves to be musical don’t always have regular ‘sing songs’, jams and barn dances with their family.

I began The Rhythm Tree to provide a weekly opportunity for families to get together to create such musical environments and then continue the music making at home.

  • What do you love most about delivering these family music classes?

I love:
The joy that it brings to families; to see the connection they have with the music, with their own family and with the community of families in the class is very special.
The fact that whole families can come together – babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers AND adults to freely participate at their own levels.
The pressure free environment. Children learn differently to adults, they learn instinctively and constantly. They teach themselves through imitation and play, through being immersed in their environment, and through every interaction with adults and older children. If we don’t put pressure ion the children then learning takes place naturally.

  • If you could highlight one aspect of the classes what would it be?

At the core of our approach is the idea that young children learn best from powerful role models of parents/caregivers who are actively making music. By emphasising actual music-making experiences, we introduce children to the pleasures of producing music, instead of passively consuming it; hand to hand, face to face, heart to heart, voice to voice – for a truly bonding and enriching experience.

Term 4 commences the week beginning 9th October 2017.
Monday to Saturday morning classes are held in the Lower Merri here at CERES at 9:15am, 10:15am and 11:15am.
Afternoon classes are also held on Monday and Tuesday at 3:15pm and 4:15pm or Thursdays at 2:15pm and 3:15pm.

Classes also take place at four other locations around Melbourne. Booking essential. Free trials are available!

Fore more details see


By | 2017-09-25T17:29:03+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Venue Hire|0 Comments

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