Jolly Babies & Music with Mummy Classes with Erica Simpson

Today on Bishopston Mum is an interview with Erica Simpson, a local mum who runs local Jolly Babies and Music with Mummy classes. Erica’s classes are for children 0-3 years and are held in Westbury Park and Redland. 

So, whether you are looking for music, singing and dancing classes for your child or simply fancy a read of Erica’s personal experiences of being a local mum, I hope you enjoy this post! 

1) Hi Erica, tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m a mum of two – Ollie is 4 and Mattie is 18 months old. I’m originally from Cambridge but have lived in Bristol for over 8 years and like many people I meet, have fallen in love with the city and all it has to offer.

I’m married to Neil who runs his own Graphics business from his studio in our garden. Before starting to run Music with Mummy & Jolly Babies classes I worked for 10 years in Learning & Development for Mars UK – something I also really loved doing.

2) Please tell me about your Jolly Babies and Music with Mummy classes.

Music with Mummy and Jolly Babies classes have been running for over 25 years in Bristol, and are designed to, above anything else, be a fun exploration of music, instruments and singing for young children.

The classes are kept intentionally small – something I particularly appreciate as I feel like I have the opportunity to get to know all the children who come along.Jolly Babies is for those up to around 18 months old and Music with Mummy is designed for children from 18 months to 3 years.

I’m also hoping to introduce Three Four Time classes in the near future, which are specifically for pre-schooler’s. These are slightly different as children are with me whilst grown ups have a cup of tea next door. The adults will come and join in at the end of the term to see all that the children have been doing.

3) What or who inspired you to run your classes?

I took Ollie along to Sophie Lincloln’s Jolly Babies and Music with Mummy classes on Gloucester Road. I really enjoyed Sophie’s classes – sometimes I think I was a little more into them than Ollie was. After Mattie was born I took her along too – she adores them – and a friend mentioned in passing that she thought I’d be good at running them. At first I didn’t think I could make it work but after looking into it I became very excited at the possibility of running my own classes.

4) When and where do you run your classes?

On Wednesday I run classes at Westbury Park Methodist Church:
10.00 am Music with Mummy
10.40 am Jolly Babies

On Thursday I run classes at the Elmgrove Centre on Redland Road:
9.40 am Music with Mummy
10.20 am Jolly Babies

Friday I’m back at Westbury Park Methodist Church:
9.40 am Music with Mummy
10.20 am Jolly Babies

5) What activities does a typical class offer?

Jolly Babies is for children up to around 18 months of age, and involves lots of singing, bouncing and dancing. Along with time to explore and play with instruments suitable for the smallest of hands and mouths! The songs are a mix of traditional ones that everyone knows and loves combined with lots of new and unique songs, which are easy to learn and provide a lot of entertainment for babies and grown-ups. We always finish with something more gentle, like a lullaby and some bubbles to help relax after all the excitement of singing and bouncing.

Music with Mummy (or grandma or daddy or any other important grown up) is slightly more structured, each term has a theme – this term it’s Light so along with the songs that are tied into the theme we talk and sing about different forms of light; electric light, candle light, sun and moon light and star light. Each term we also explore basic musical concepts such as the difference between long and short sounds or loud and soft sounds.

6) What are your personal experiences of being a mum in Bristol?

I feel so lucky to have stumbled across Bristol and especially to have become a Mum in Bristol. My first experience of pregnancy and the amazing support and care from the Bishopston midwife team and the lovely friends that I’ve made through our ante natal classes has added to the joy of parenthood and definitely provided the support inevitably needed when things are more challenging!

We have such a diverse mix of activities and spaces to explore – all on our doorstep; galleries, museums, the theatre and the probably slightly over visited Zoo. Different places to play and eat and, probably most importantly we never seem to find ourselves too far away from a decent coffee – something that I have appreciated more as a mother than at any other time in my life!
I really enjoy the sense of community; always bumping into people we know or who know others that we do. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else with my family.

7) Are there any activities in Bristol that your children particularly enjoy?

My daughter loves Sophie’s Music with Mummy classes – there is no way I could not take her, even though I can’t sing along in her classes as my voice definitely needs a break!

My son is really enjoying Kung Fu classes at Martial Arts Lifestyle – we’ve been so impressed with how well they run the class particularly for younger children.

We all love swimming at Easton swimming pool – the water slide is addictive fun for all of us.

8) In your opinion, what are the advantages/ disadvantages of raising children in Bristol?

For me the advantages of being a family in Bristol are too numerous to mention! On top of all we have access to in Bristol itself we also really appreciate having easy access to London and the coast in Devon and Cornwall.

The main disadvantage for us of being in Bristol is that our parents live in Norfolk and Stoke on Trent – it would be lovely to be closer to our children’s grandparents.

9) How do you manage running your classes and being a mum?

It was a bit daunting to begin with as there seemed so much to do and think about – as with any new venture. There has certainly needed to be a fair amount of juggling of tasks, as my life is no longer organised into neat chunks of work time and separate family time. However I love running the classes, and coming up with new and interesting ways to do things is great fun. I love being with the children who come to my classes – getting to know them has been so entertaining.

Ultimately I try to stay very organised and run my life with lots lists!

10) Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you’re reading this and you’ve not been to a class before you’re welcome to come along for a taster session to see what you and your little one make of the classes.

If you’d like more information either email me at ericajanesimpson@gmail.comor call me on 07814521799.

Alternatively people can check out my Facebook page more details and get in touch that way.

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post.

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