Sarah (Director and founder of Musical Bumps) visited Vicki Joyce at her classes in Reading and Henley – read what she has to say below!
“One of the very best parts of my job is visiting our talented team of Musical Bumps teachers. Today was no exception – with a visit to the popular and friendly classes in Reading and Henley with Vicki Joyce.
Before Vicki started teaching Musical Bumps classes, she was a record label executive in London – her life is still musical of course – but quite different in almost every other way. Is she happy in her new life? “I love it!” says Vicki!
Vicki’s Monday classes run in St Barnabas’ church hall, Emmer Green – just a hop, skip and jump away from Reading town centre. The hall is easy to find, with plenty of parking. The sun was pouring into the light and airy hall as I arrived, enough to make anyone smile! There followed three wonderful classes starting with one just for the over-twos, then the toddlers and finally the babies.
Classes with Vicki are popular and it’s easy to see why – she is such a friendly and welcoming teacher, taking everything in her stride. Her classes have a real gentleness about them and she really communicates with the children – who are probably all a little bit in love with her!
It is also easy to tell that Vicki is a real musician. To start with she has a great voice which is an essential skill for all Musical Bumps teachers as singing is such a central part of our work. She is also a very good teacher, calmly in control and clearly loving every minute. What I was especially delighted about was the level of participation from all the children – they really wanted to be part of the class, even the tiny ones – it was so lovely to see!
If you think that means all the children sat still, then you are mistaken. Little children really need to move around to learn – Vicki gave children enough space to do this (and plenty of opportunities for them to return to the circle and explore new games and props). There was no pressure on parents, and no stress from Vicki – the perfect combination.
During one of the breaks, I helped Vicki by washing up: from the kitchen, I heard the happy chatter of parents discussing sleep times, feeding, nappies – all those useful conversations that new parents need to have. Vicki gives plenty of space for socialising too – perfect!
The over-twos class was full of joyful participation with children choosing new actions and helping with the tidying up at every opportunity. Their enjoyment was clear, and parents and grandparents were all so engaged with their children. The toddlers were hilarious – curious and confident little people exploring their world, and all the exciting instruments (we use much more than just bells and shakers) and enjoying their songs. The final class I watched was the baby class (under 12 months) and it was glorious… lots of little eyes and ears fixed on Vicki and enjoying the listening games, the tickling and the gentle rocking – it’s almost worth having another baby to attend a class like this!
Thank you for letting me visit, Vicki – I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday morning!”