A SHEFFIELD musician who has performed at the world’s biggest festivals and had her work featured in major commercials and Hollywood films is preparing to pass some of her skills to some of the city’s youngest children s
Vanessa Johnson, aged 40, who lives in Stannington with husband Dave and two-year-old daughter Jenny, is launching Songbuds, a music group for babies and children up to the age of four.
Hour-long singing and music-making sessions start in July with a month of free sessions.
Vanessa has recorded with Sony and Chrysalis Music and was more recently signed to Fatboy Slim’s record label Southern Fried Records as one half of electronic house/pop duo Grandadbob.
The pair released two critically acclaimed albums and performed around the world, from China to Miami, and at festivals such as Glastonbury, V and O2, before returning to Sheffield in 2008 when they married.
Vanessa started vocal training under international coach Dr Vivien Pike when she was ten and has toured with the City of Sheffield Girls Choir, followed by a career as a professional dancer in Germany, street theatre clown, children’s entertainer and puppeteer.
Vanessa said: “When it comes to performing or music I’ve probably done most things.
“Life on the road with the band was a fantastic experience and we’ll always look back on it as an amazing part of our lives but we knew that the time was right to put down some roots and enjoy family life.
“After having my daughter Jenny in 2009 I’ve been more aware than ever of the importance of music for babies and young children and it was a natural thing to launch Songbuds.
“Studies have shown there are huge developmental benefits for children exposed to music from a young age.”
Sessions will include a live performance from a professional musician every few months, starting with an appearance by professional cellist Liz Hanks on July 11 and 12.
All Songbuds starts at St Augustine’s Church, Brocco Bank, on Wednesday, July 4 and at Wood Lane Countryside Centre, Stannington, on Thursday, July 5, both from 10 am to 11am.
Visit www.songsbuds.co.uk or call 233 0503.