Today Bishopston Mum is pleased to interview Ali and Robin, the couple behind Little Music Makers who provide music sessions for young children every Monday at KudaCan in Bishopston.
Hi Ali and Robin! Please tell Bishopston Mum readers a little about yourselves.
We both love music! It’s been an integral part of Robin’s life since birth- coming from a very musical family, and Ali has always loved singing. In fact we met through our mutual love of music- Robin was playing a gig in Bristol, and we were introduced by a friend… and the rest shall we say is history!
We are both performers, curious about the world around us, and we love to use our imaginations. As well as music, Ali has over ten years experience in learning and development, mostly working with adults, but when our first child was born it gave us both a new perspective in our passions for music and learning, and how this could benefit the wee ones of this world.
We have since added to our brood, and are now the proud parents of a 4 year old and a nine month old, and watching them develop and grow has been the best thing in our lives.
Please tell us about Little Music Makers!
It’s lots of fun! We provide children and their parents a unique and fun environment to explore music. Through the use of instruments, songs, movement and ‘world-building’, we link in to the early years foundation stages, and help to inspire the children’s natural curiosity in the world around them.
What inspired you both to start Little Music Makers classes?
Since their birth, our little ones have always been in the presence of music. Robin often picks up the guitar and plays a tune, there is always music playing in the car, and it hasn’t been unknown to hear little on the spot ditties about full nappies, snotty noses, and trips to the park and so on.
The real light-bulb moment came when we were playing instruments with our first-born and we noticed how much more focused he became. ‘Watching, learning, and doing’ became a method that we learned from our own child!
Another thing was the lack of a sensory experience at many of the other toddler music groups. We felt that music is a soundtrack for stories and events. So the idea of ‘world-building’ was incorporated into the sessions… as well as the fact that all kids like building cushion forts! That in turn inspired the notion of activities and exercises all relating back to the themed songs.
This gave an opportunity for Robin to write songs in a whole different genre as well as learn all the nursery rhymes he could remember.
What is the aim of a Little Music Makers class?
We want people to enjoy music! Children are naturally curious and only just discovering the world around them that we, as adults, sometimes take for granted. Through music we can make learning and new experiences an interactive and fun process.
Our hope is that we are able to assist children, and their parents, to have an active lifestyle, as well as enriching the early development of the children’s understanding of rhythm and melody. Within this we also strive to impart sustainable values like sharing, caring and appreciation of other people and our environment.
What does Little Music Makers sessions involve?
Having lots of fun! Each session uses imaginative play or ’world-building’- where we build the theme of the session around the children- using movement and gross motor skill activities, the physical building of the theme (using fabrics, props, cardboard – you name it and we have probably used it!), and exploration and discovery of music and musical instruments.
Music is of course is at the core of the session, and each week we explore different instruments based around our theme, demonstrating and exploring how the instrument works, playing along to a song and having a big musical jam – where we get a selection of instruments out to play.
We always start the session with our energising ‘hello’ song, and finish on our grounding and calming ‘goodbye’ song. Every week turns up something new- which is why the children always come back!
Where and when are classes held?
We currently have two 45 minute weekly sessions;
Bishopston – every Monday at 11.30am, held upstairs at Kudacan. One of the perks for all paying Little Music Makers is free stay and play entry to Kudacan , for before or after the session- if you buy something from the cafe (the cake is always a winner!). Many of our parents come along for the session then stay for Lunch.
We also run a very popular weekly session in Brislington every Thursday at 9.45am in St. Christopher’s Hall, Hampstead Road.
What age range is Little Music Makers ideal for?
We feel 2-4 year olds will get the most out of the sessions, but we do know children all grow and learn differently, and some of our regulars have been as young as 16 months! This is one of the reasons we offer the first session for free.
We also find siblings of all ages will get something out of it, which is why we make our sessions as inclusive as possible for all Little Music Makers- and the parents too!
How much do classes cost and how do parents pay?
The first session is always free, as we believe in giving parents and children the opportunity to experience Little Music Makers first, to see if it works for them. After that the price depends on the location of the session, if you pay in advance or on the door and if you bring siblings. Please get in touch to find out about the class you are interested in.
We believe in family learning so we encourage other family members and siblings to come along and join the fun. We offer sibling discounts, and if a sibling is under the age of one then they can come along for free. As for payment options, we believe in making things easy, so parents can pay by bank transfer, cash, or cheque.
Please tell me about Little Music Makers birthday parties.
These are extra special themed adventures! We have a choice of pre-made themes such as Pirates, Dinosaurs, Space Quest, etc, or we can work with the parents to create a unique session for their child. Birthdays are lots of fun and really rambunctious!
Or give us a call on 01179721759.
You can also find out more about Little Music Makers from our new website: http://littlemusicmakers.net
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
We look forward to giving you and your little ones an exciting adventure in to the world of music and world-building, and to meeting you!