Head office recently interviewed Vicki Joyce who started her Musical Bumps business in Berkshire earlier this year.
Why did you choose a Musical Bumps business?
It was a real career change for me. I’ve always loved singing and music and I have always wanted to try teaching. Having two
young children I was looking for something that would fit in with school hours and term time. And I’ve always wanted to have a go at running my own business!
What is your background?
Marketing and brand strategy at a big London advertising agency, then the BBC and finally at Warner Music Records where I finished up as international director of audience insight and planning. A lot of my work was strategic and I was keen to try something more hands on where I could immediately see the impact and benefits it was bringing to children. I already find teaching the classes so rewarding in that sense.
How have you found the training and support from head office?
Brilliant! They are an incredibly supportive and friendly team. I think they strike a very good balance between letting you have the autonomy to get on and do things the way you want to but always being there to support if you have questions. The online training modules are very comprehensive and take you step by step through the process of starting a successful Musical Bumps business from teaching you the theory (educational benefits of the program
mes, etc), guiding you through the repertoire to learn, helping you identify a good venue, giving you advice regarding book keeping software/liability insurance/financial reporting as well as a whole gamut of marketing tips and templates. Everyone is passionate about what they do at Musical Bumps and it genuinely feels like being part of a family.
How did you feel about starting your own Musical Bumps business?
Nervous and excited in equal measure. Would I be able to find customers? Would I be any good at teaching? Would I be able to make enough money? I also felt very empowered – I now have a level of freedom and flexibility I’ve never had in any other job!
Which skills do you have which you feel will help you get your Musical Bumps business up and running?
I’m a pretty friendly person which I think helps customers to feel welcome and relaxed in my classes and I’ve had a lot of experience presenting so I’m confident speaking in front of a group. I’ve also gigged a lot as a singer songwriter so I’m OK with performing in front of people. Having two young children has also taught me a few tricks with regards to managing energetic toddlers!
And which skills do you feel you will need to acquire?
I have never taught before so this is the big new bit for me. However, the online training has given me some great tips and tricks
and I plan to observe more classes led by the experienced Musical Bumps teachers.
I’ve also never run my own business so I’m going to have to develop efficient ways of book keeping, etc.
What’s the best advice you’ve had?
There is no such thing as failure – only learning. Don’t try to be 100 % perfect, go for 80 % and be flexible to hone as you go along. This stops you from becoming stagnant and encourages constant improvement and innovation as well as removing the pressure of perfection.
Why do you think music is so important in the early years?
Learning music from a young age has so many developmental benefits from improving literacy, vocabulary and numeracy as well as non-verbal communication, social and interpersonal skills and generally just confidence building in a group setting. There has been a ton of research showing the positive impact learning music has on language and maths in particular.
Have you seen any real examples of how music has made a real impact?
At my classes I have seen how the children are learning the songs and learning new words and gestures to express themselves. In my baby class I have witnessed how the lullaby section at the end can magically calm a whole room of babies – one baby recently who was giggling in the bells and shakes section was then yawning right on cue as mum rocked him to our goodbye song!
What do you do when you’re not working?
A lot of mum stuff! I have a two year old and a five year old so there’s never a quiet moment. I like to go for a run along the Thames or go to a yoga class and still try to make time for girly catch ups and keep my finger on the pulse culturally. I recently saw the GoGo Penguins perform live at The Barbican which was stunning.
Finally, what do you sing in the shower?
Anything from Adele and Taylor Swift to Bowie, Feist, JayZ or Ludovico Einaudi….I love anything with a good melody and I’m definitely not defined by genre!