Emma Davis has just launched one of our new Musical Bumps businesses – she’s based in the Medway Towns in North Kent. We caught up with her to hear how it is all going! Click here for details of her classes.
Why did you choose a Musical Bumps business?
When I was looking into early years music franchises, I researched around 25 similar companies that exist in the UK. I had a long wish list of things I was looking for including a really music-based curriculum, a mix of old and new songs, a good training programme for teachers, head office support, value for money and a well-established brand with a proven track record. So after phone calls with my top ten companies, and visits to observe classes at my shortlist of five, Musical Bumps was a clear winner!
Is your background all about music Emma? Give us the edited highlights please!
In a word, yes! I studied music at university, achieved an ABRSM diploma in piano performance, and have been fortunate to travel the world through singing with various choirs. When I finished university I started working in an administration role for an international consultancy in London and did some piano teaching alongside.
How have you found the training and support from head office?
I have found the training programme to be very thorough and easy to follow. The material is online and split into stages, with a breakdown of tasks in each stage. The tasks range from ‘watch this ten minute video from a class and answer these questions’ to ‘go to the bank and set up a business account’! This format means you can do the training from home and during hours to suit you. The online training was then supplemented by training days at head office, phone calls with the Musical Bumps team and observations at classes run by five different teachers across Kent. Knowing that head office is always at the end of the phone is very reassuring and the team there are always friendly and helpful.
How did you feel once you had delivered your first classes?
Relieved! As long as you have put in the time beforehand and practised all the songs and actions until you are confident, I think that once you start the session you just get into the swing of things. You don’t really have time for nerves when you are in the middle of a class. I’m only a few weeks into teaching so I’m still learning all the time and adapting methods to improve my delivery of the sessions.
Which skills do you have which have really helped in getting Musical Bumps Medway up and running?
The music side of things is the easy part for me and having admin experience has really helped me in terms of being organised and being able to deal with enquiries, both written and on the phone. There’s a lot of things to do to get things set up so time management is critical. I’m also determined and once I start something I see it through.
And which skills have you had to acquire in the last few months?
I had no prior experience of marketing so was a bit unsure where to start but the team were great at giving me ideas. I wasn’t so worried when I learnt that there is no wrong way to do marketing – it really is a case of trial and error for what works in different areas. Running a business was obviously new to me as well so I’ve had to learn that I am the one who has to make the final decision on the big questions like when and where to run classes and where to spend money advertising. If you need support in any area the team are there to advise you as much as you like – but at the end of the day it’s your business and you have to make what you feel is the right decision.
What’s the best advice you’ve had?
Take it steady and just enjoy it. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Why do you think music is so important in the early years?
Music is a fantastic thing to have in your life as it is powerful, challenging, mood changing, has health and wellbeing benefits and most of all is a fun way to interact with people. By encouraging young children to have a love for music, we are introducing them to something that can really benefit them and give them opportunities and enjoyment throughout their whole lives.
What’s the best thing about what you are doing now?
When you have a group who are really engaging with what you are doing in the session and encouraging the children to join in it’s lovely to see – smiles all round! I also love to hear parents say that the children love coming to Musical Bumps and that they sing the songs at home during the rest of the week.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I am busy with singing in two choirs but I also like crafts, reading, composing music, travelling and going out for coffee.
Finally, what do you sing in the shower?
Whatever happens to be stuck in my head at the time – which could be anything from Old MacDonald to the Hallelujah Chorus!