Fan Mail From Former Pupils
Discover how Fun With Music®™ lasts a lifetime!
I went to Fun With Music. I’m now 49. Your lessons sparked a love of classical music that’s never left me. In fact, although I’m not a professional musician, music has been one of the most important things in my life. I’ve sung with many choirs, including The Bach Choir, in concerts all over Europe.
After all this time I still remember you introducing me to Scheherezade, the Firebird, Till Eulenspiegel, and the Pines of Rome. Thank you so much.
“I was raised on your tapes, to the point where I hear your voice in my mind whenever I listen to the musical pieces you narrated! I myself now work as a writer, poet and storyteller, working with both young and adult audiences and I want to thank you for your impact on my life and my appreciation of music and story. In my mind you are one of the great idols of my childhood!”
When I was very young, my English father used to buy your tapes and bring them back to Switzerland for me and I became quite obsessed with them, surely a contributing factor to my choice of studying Musicology at university. What I wanted to say is that I am now the delighted mother of two small children, and my son Cameron, who just turned 3 this week, has begun listening to the very tapes I used to listen to, and he often approaches me asking to listen to Chouchou (my personal favourite too). It is just wonderful.
I just wanted to thank you for the role you played in my younger years, and the satisfaction it gives me to see Cameron enjoy your stories and music just as much as I did. I hope this message finds you well.
All the best from Basel, Switzerland
I owe my own life partly to music – I still play in bands, playing rock music, pub gigs and sing every week in a classical choir they set up at UCS, singing Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Purcell, Poulenc, Bernstein and the greats – I owe it in good part to you. I still remember as if it were yesterday, listening to you telling the Sinbad the sailor story to the strains of Rimsky Korsakov, while eating jam sandwiches – very Proustian, although (shock horror – it was white sliced bread)
I owe a lot of this to you, Ann, so I hope we can stay in touch.
“I stumbled upon your music story tapes when I was about ten years old. My father used to take my sister and I out to the best CD shop in Singapore where we could buy one item per week (his gift to us). I bought one cassette tape out of curiosity ( Nurse Goose) and loved it so much that my sister and I looked forward to bedtime so that we could listen to the stories. I asked my father for every tape on the shelf each week until I had your entire collection.
We live in Hong Kong now and I’ve recently had my own children, Zahra is four and Reyka is five months old. I was delighted to find your stories on our Apple Music subscription (fantastic, no more rewinds :)). Zahra now listens to any story she wants at bedtime and we have avid conversations about the characters. She’s begun reciting all her favourite lines which makes me smile and reflect on what I was like.
I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that your stories never get old for me and that my husband and children are now your new fans. Every story book I read to my children are with “Ann Rachlin gusto”!
I used to speak publicly for my work and I think your voice and speaking rhythm has always been there at the back of my head. Thank you for being my vocal and storytelling inspiration; and your stories going digital allows me to share that with my family.
My very best regards”
My children who now have their own babies, grew up with your wonderful fun cds. They can still remember every moment. Australia is after all a huge place when doing countless road trips. I still have a few luckily but would love to get all of your stories,including the French ones as my little granddaughter’s mum is French.
What an inspiration you are to learn and then present in French. Well done!
Happy Easter. I hope this finds you extremely well in these strange times. I’m writing to say a huge thank you. I was one of your pupils in the mid 80s in London, listening to your beautiful stories alongside the loveliest Classical pieces and playing instruments with you and the other children. I adored the sessions. Being in lockdown and listening to more Classical music brought me back to that very comforting and inspiring time. I used to have your tapes too and listen every night at home. I have been telling my boyfriend how much I loved it. It’s my birthday tomorrow and in a moment of reflection I googled you to see your news and was thrilled to see you flourishing and leading such an exciting life. What extraordinary accomplishments you’ve always achieved. And then I saw the chair!! The white wicker chair with the blooming back, there’s various photos online of you sitting on it on the beach and elsewhere! I remember that chair, it seemed magic to me. I am a writer and actress now. I studied at Cambridge, then trained at RADA and I work mainly in the theatre in London. I just finished acting in four plays at Shakespeare’s Globe, and wrote one – A feminine response to Dr Faustus. My whole life is about stories. You were a huge inspiration. I loved to listen to your beautiful voice.
Also – you have a way of seeing and sharing the feeling and narratives in music that were formative in how I met the world, and my creative imagination in my work and life since.
Thank you so deeply.
All very best, Lily Bevan
(daughter of Jane and Peter)
April 13 2020
I am not sure if it’s you that reads your emails or not but I wanted to drop you a line.
When I was a child in the 80s we had a copy of your life of Mozart that we used to listen to in the car on long journeys. I have never forgotten it. I particularly remember the part with the dark stranger.
I don’t know why but after all these years it has only just occurred to me that I might be able to find the story online which I have managed to do. I have listened to it again and it brought all my memories back.
So thank you for a great story which has stayed with me for so long. I turn 40 this year!
I am the mother of a child you enchanted in the 80s with your wonderful mix of music and magical story-telling.
Alexandra R, we lived in Barnes. She is now 30, loves classical music and who was most probably helped by you to become a fluent Mandarin speaker, and who I’m reliably told, speaks it with a wonderful accent. I think your sessions were a huge contributor to her learning to listen to tones so well and because they conveyed, through your interpreting, musical emotional meaning. That’s one of my theories anyway.
I’m writing now as I’m looking to introduce my first grandchild, (of another child) to your “Fun with Music” CDs. She is a precocious near 3 year old and I was searching for your Cinderella by Prokofiev on your website, but can’t see it. I’ve kept all your cassettes and it appears to be the only one that recommends “for all ages”.
Is is available on CD and if not what would you recommend I give this little one. Btw are we supposed to buy off Amazon?
Trust you are well as you are approaching your 80th birthday I see.
B R (2013)
Hello from your pupil! I hope you are well.
I am delighted that my children love your CD’s so your special talent really is spreading to the next generation of pupils.
You were kind enough to invite me to your apartment in London just before you moved in 2003, and I just wanted to write to let you know how much I continue to feel indebted to you. For a long time I have claimed that the period of approximately 1875 to 1925 is my favourite, and hearing Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov this week brought back memories of the Fun with Music tapes I used to listen to as a child. It dawned on me that even throughout my studies in Musicology and my PhD, this preference has stuck (extended to romantic and 20th century opera) and it left me wondering whether my taste in music was indelibly linked to the powerful narrative of one Ann Rachlin. Probably this is the case. And thank you again for shaping my life in such a creative manner.
I just wanted to thank you for ‘A Musical Journey to the Moon’. It was played some time in the early 90s during my year 2 music lesson. My mother bought it for me after I raved about it for weeks afterwards. Not only did it start a lifelong fascination with space but also for classical music.
For the last couple of decades all I could remember was that I had an amazing tape that I’d listen to at bedtime and go on a journey. But after a little bit of research I found out more. And low and behold, it’s on Spotify!
Currently listening to it and I’m in floods of tears. I’m 6 years old again.
Many thanks, Ann. This was needed!
My name’s Sam Wilson. I was lucky enough to be involved with your classes (now many) years ago in St. John’s Wood. I studied at the Guildhall and graduated winning the Lord Mayors Prize (an award spanning music, drama and technical theatre- awarded to an outstanding student). I’ve since enjoyed orchestral and ensemble work with the Royal Opera House, English Chamber Orchestra, CBSO and London Contemporary Orchestra.
I am most passionate about contemporary music performance, and am trying to involve myself in as many new music and new opera performances as possible. I recently joined the UK percussion ensemble 4-Mality. The variety inherent to percussion is what fascinates me. I’ve been able to honour an early interest in drama by specialising in highly “theatrical” and experimental solo percussion performances.
The only reason I’m telling you all this is that I believe the experiences you passed on to me have fuelled and shaped the way I’ve related to music- throughout my whole journey so far. You taught me to be fascinated by music, to be excited and enthralled. To find ways to understanding and interpreting music. I’ve never doubted or erred in relation to the joy and curiosity I have towards music, and I want to thank you sincerely for fostering this attitude in me.