Stringbabies with Kay Tucker


Stringbabies is an innovative approach to teaching musicianship skills alongside learning to play a string instrument. Using a notation system based around shapes and incorporating composition from the very first lesson, Stringbabies has gained a strong reputation nationally for enabling children as young as 3 years of age to be able to read music and for promoting strong sight reading and aural skills.


Since Kay's last presentation for Pathways, new publications have been produced in the series and in particular, a bespoke assessment will be available from September 2017 in partnership with Victoria College Exams.


At this event, Kay will be giving an overview of how Stringbabies works and introducing the new 3 level VCM Stringbabies Awards which will provide creative and achievable incentives in the beginner String player's world.

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  • Faculty












    Kay Tucker



    Kay Tucker was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire and began studies on the cello at the age of 12, continuing studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

    Her portfolio career has combined teaching and adjudicating with performing as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.

    Since 1998, Kay has been in popular demand as an Adjudicator throughout the UK, having worked at well over 200 festivals including the National Festival of Music for Youth.  ‘Encouragement’ is a key word in all aspects of Kay’s work and she has great joy in working alongside musicians of all ages, particularly the very young.


    Kay’s passion for teaching led her to develop an early years strings & general musicianship system known as ‘Stringbabies’. Since its’ inception in 2004, ‘Stringbabies’ has become well established and accepted as a leading approach in strings teaching  (surprisingly to all ages!) and is being delivered throughout the UK and abroad in individual teaching practices, schools and music services.

    In 2016, Musicbabies for Recorder was published, being the first adaptation of Stringbabies for a non-stringed instrument.

    Kay is currently working in partnership with Victoria College Examinations to develop a bespoke Stringbabies Award for beginner string players.


    In 2013 and 2014, Stringbabies was shortlisted for the Inaugural Rhinegold Music Teachers Awards for Excellence in music education. In 2014 Kay was also a finalist in the BBC Community Heroes Awards in Education in respect of her work in developing ‘Stringbabies’.


    Over recent years, Kay worked as a consultant to Trinity Guildhall, selecting and co-selecting repertoire for graded exams and diplomas.

    Kay is a Trustee and member of the Executive council of the European String Teacher’s Association (ESTA) as well as chairman of Horsham Performers Platform.

    Kay became an Adjudicator Member of the British and International Federation of Festivals in 1997 and undertook the Post-graduate Certificate in Adjudication in 1999/2000.

  • Details and Costs


    ESTA member £25

    ESTA non member £35

    ESTA student £15

    ESTA student non member £25


    All sessions are 2.30-5.30 at the Primrose Hill Community Centre, 29 Hopkinsons Place, Fitzroy Road, London NW1 8TN Telephone: (020) 7586 8327.

    The entrance is down a little passage with a metal barrier in front of it, slightly tricky to spot. Go through the alley and you’ll see the building. There is free on street parking for those driving. 

    Tube: The nearest tube is Chalk Farm on the Northern line and is about a 10 minute walk.


  • Terms and Conditions

    Conditions of Booking.

    Booking is open to members and non-members of the European String Teachers' Association. For details of membership of ESTA(UK) please contact the membership secretary or visit our ESTA Benefits page.

    In case of illness or other circumstances beyond our control we reserve the right to alter advertised presenters but will inform you if this proves necessary.

    The European String Teachers' Association accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to instruments or personal belongings. You are strongly advised to provide your own insurance for instruments and other possessions.

    ESTA reserves the right to take photographs and video content. If you have any objections please email

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