Beanstalk Arts is a South East London based music and storytelling organisation, run by storyteller and cellist Becky Dixon. We aim to deliver high quality, creative and inclusive music, story and ukulele workshops for children and their parents and carers, with a focus on live instrumental music, rather than backing tracks. It grew out of the creative childcare organisation Nimble Arts, as Becky realised her interest lies mainly in working with Early Years children and their families, and the two sister companies now work closely together (and Becky still frequently pops up running Nimble Arts holiday club workshop for older children)
Becky is an experienced musician, storyteller, workshop leader, teacher and arts project manager. As well as running Beanstalk Arts, she’s the front woman and main songwriter of family friend ‘Becky, Boris and the Beats’ who have performed live sold out gigs in SE London and have released an album of original songs for kids.
Here’s a project Becky did with Groundswell Arts over lockdown:
It has been a strange year, but during lockdown Becky has been delivering daily online storytelling and music sessions, and has built brand new online course! We’re hoping the future will offer more opportunities for face to face work – we’re looking forward to developing a new SEND project funded by Sound Connections and re-building out weekly classes, but some element of online work will continue too!
You can often find her telling stories at venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Horniman Museum. She has over five years experience running and managing learning and outreach projects for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Proms. She particularly enjoys playing experimental and folk music, and has a Masters in Contemporary Musicology from Goldsmiths, and her dipABRSM in cello performance. She’d agree that it’s hard to beat a bit of Bach sometimes! As a musician she has performed in venues across London alongside with composers including Christian Wolff and Tom Johnson as a member of the Post Quartet, and has regularly recorded and played live with a number of bands, currently playing with the Understudies.
June 2017: ‘ Dragonfly Detectives’ Commission for London Wildlife Trust
Devised and performed stories inspired by dragonflies for mixed age family audience at Woodberry Wetlands open day. I told the story of the world’s first dragonfly, and devised my own tale of dragonflies helping a lost princess through the jungle, all based on research about the lifespan of a dragonfly (I’m quite the dragonfly geek now!)
March 2017: ‘Women of the World’ Conference – ‘Pram Jam’ at the Southbank Centre
Devised and performed a storytelling and music session as part of the WOW conference at the Southbank Centre, telling children’s musical fairy stories with a feminist inspiration. I’m particularly committed to stories with strong female characters, so was delighted to get this commission!
February 2017: Storytelling and Music Residency for Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre
To an audience of c. 100 children and their families every day, I led a series of storytelling and music sessions in the Clore Ballroom as part of the Centre’s Imagine Festival programming. These were free, open-access sessions, including a session specially for families from local Children
Centres, with the rest of the sessions as open access workshops. I was responsible for devising and delivering content, where each day was structured around a different story, including a mixture of original and popular songs, music and stories, utilizing props and puppets to support and engage the audience.
February 2016 – present Storyteller for the Royal Albert Hall’s early years programme
I present regular story and music sessions to groups of 25 children and their parents and carers at the Royal Albert Hall. I plan my sessions linking in to the specific history, programming and geographical surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall, so enjoy the history link of these sessions!
August 2014 – present Storyteller and workshop leader for the Horniman Museum’s Early Years, Family and Community teams. Projects with the Horniman have included an EY project linked to their special exhibition of Bernie Krause’s ecological soundscapes, consisting of 5 sessions each linked to the different natural landscapes explored by Krause, plus regular ongoing Busy Bees and ‘World of Stories’ work.
Within London – fees cover all planning and travel within London – expenses will be more on venues outside of London:
Special rates apply for ongoing or longer term work, and if you have a very exciting project, but a limited budget, do still get in touch.