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New preschool music group?

(23 Posts)
BE97 Tue 30-Jun-15 21:44:13

Hello there ladies,
I am looking at opening a new preschool music group on a Thursday afternoon 1.30-2.30pm. I am doing it by myself and also want to make SOME money from it so was not going to do hot drinks/cake/biscuits but then friends have said this might put them off...I was going to charge £4 per child and £1 for siblings...What are your thoughts??? The hall is £21 for 90 minutes and I am looking at spending around £500 on my "kit" (puppets, soft toys, parachute, scarves etc. and toys for playtime afterwards - mix of new and great quality second hand)...I know we are all in different areas but would love your thoughts...
Also, thoughts on the name - Twinkle Tunes or Twinkle Stars...I loved Twinkle Stars but a guy at work said it was rubbish as you don't know what the business is...Hmmmm.
Any help greatly appreciated. Xx

BE97 Wed 01-Jul-15 17:16:34

Anyone our there for a bit of advice please? Xx

DonkeyOaty Wed 01-Jul-15 17:30:25

90 mins - I wouldn't bother with drinks/snacks.

And deffo no playtime after - you'll want to pack up and go. Ime the children go mad and run around, collisions and squabbles etc

The best music group I went to (back in the Dark Ages) was a weekly theme say Transport; limbering up with a little routine (always the same) songs and rhymes with props like a small car each, craft time, ie collage of vehicles, some listening and rhythm exercises with Tap Sticks, parachute games (ohh so quiet by Bjork to finish) then story time.
Was fab.

Name - something music so folk know it's a music group not just a generic group

Oh - run term time only as your insurance is likely to be for under 5s only

DBS - if a Church Hall then the Church might well be willing to be your Umbrella Organisation

Sorry for stream of consciousness - get ahold of a couple of dozen small carpet samples from your local friendly carpet shop for mats to sit on

LIZS Wed 01-Jul-15 17:31:20

Have you done some market research into what is already on offer locally, where and when? What age group are you aiming for ? I would have thought a lot of toddlers/preschoolers might be napping after lunch before collecting older siblings from school. I would charge in blocks of at least half terms otherwise you will find they come and go so that some weeks you may not cover your costs. Maybe Twinkle Tunes?

DonkeyOaty Wed 01-Jul-15 17:34:27

LIZS makes a good point

The music group I went to was a morning one...

BE97 Fri 03-Jul-15 17:41:29

Thanks for your response - there isn't a music group like this in my area in the afternoon...There seems to be a need for it as I have had lots of mums comment on my nct and local mum's group on fb.
Re; insurance, can I still run in holidays but say strictly under 5s?
Thank you for the feedback. Xx

BE97 Fri 03-Jul-15 17:43:14

Ps. What do you mean by umbrella organisation? Sorry to be dim but unsure what that means. X

Rivercam Fri 03-Jul-15 17:49:01

You don't need snacks for that timespan.

I went to a brill one years ago at The Stable in Milton Keynes. Music students used to come and play their instruments. It was fab. I enjoyed it more than my son, I think!

BE97 Fri 03-Jul-15 17:55:19

That sounds great!!
No, I won't do drinks and snacks then, thanks for the thoughts. I figure if I don't get many then I will re-evaluate and perhaps change to morning but so many morning groups about and there appears to be a want for the afternoon one so we shall see...

BikeRunSki Fri 03-Jul-15 18:03:06

It will be very hard to enforce "strictly under 5s" during holidays. Parents will turn up with over 5s and promise that they'll be good. They won't be, and no one will have the heart to turn their little siblings away.

A friend of mine set up a similar kind of group to what you're planning 3 years ago. She's done well. She didn't spend loads on kit to start with and made a lot of stuff. Did a lot of knitting and sewing! Made loads of pom-poms and made her own rhythm sticks from dowelling which she cut down and sanded. She did well on 3 for 2 at ELC for instruments too. She leads every song on her ukelele.Her selling point - and what's kept people coming back to her is that she started as PAYG. She now also lets you block book 8 weeks at a cheaper rate.

She goes to different venues on different days of the week, all mornings. She tried afternoons Snd didn't ever get enough people to cover costs.

No drinks or playtime, but when she uses a soft play centre, she does a deal where you can play for free (or cheap) afterwards.

Moonatic Fri 03-Jul-15 18:14:44

What about 2X45 minute sessions? One for younger children (e.g. under 18 months), another for the older ones.
I don't think people would expect snacks or drinks thrown in.
Make it clear from the name what the group is all about - e.g. Tuneful Tots.

grabaspoon Fri 03-Jul-15 18:16:37

No way would my 20 month or her 2 year old friends sit for 90 minutes they're ready to leave after 30 minutes of our 45 minute music session. Also all little people I know nap 12-2 or 1-3

BE97 Fri 03-Jul-15 18:36:29

Thanks all, lots to think about. I am determined to give afternoons a go...the hall is only £21 and a business advisor I saw (at the council, free service) said give it 4 weeks and if you are not making a profit, stop. There is no reason why I couldn't swap it to a morning?? Thanks all.
Definitely having a rethink about play time at end - perhaps not do that then so have a bit more to spend on props for more songs....X

Moonatic Fri 03-Jul-15 22:03:34

I took both of mine to pre-school music groups. There was never any playtime at the end. From what I recall, the sessions only lasted 30 mins - probably long enough for a pre-schooler.

ceeveebee Fri 03-Jul-15 22:22:55

I've been taking my 3.7yo twins to music group since they were about 6 months old, a franchise called monkey music. They do 30 min classes most days for different age groups (sitters, walkers, toddlers, preschool), no snacks provided, charge about £8 a class per child, have about 8/10 maximum kids in the classes. We have to sign up for 1 term at a time and pay in advance. Other classes nearby have a system where you buy 5 classes at a time and use them when you want. There aren't very many drop in classes near us.

They don't really use that many props - they have themes for a few weeks eg seaside today so she had a few buckets and spades, otherwise just a docking station to play backing tracks, and tambourines/ maracas etc for them to play along, there's always a movement/dance bit near the end eg Hokey Cokey or skip to my Lou.

I would avoid 1.30-2.30 if possible as most toddlers do nap after lunch. Mornings tend to be much better for groups.

Also agree you should do two classes, one for younger and one older toddlers.

TheOddity Fri 03-Jul-15 22:30:00

We went to Piccolo Music. They are very successful in newcastle, even have CDs out on iTunes. They have a great format. An hour for the littlest ones, half hour "changeover", an hour for the older toddlers but freedom to attend either/or. In school hols they run an older session for siblings. It is all songs they have written, they play the instruments and parents/children sing and do the actions. Half way is instrument time and at the end are puppets and lullaby. It sounds lame but is really really fun! They do tea/coffee and a biscuit and some beakers of squash/water for the children and that is just during the changeover time between those two sessions. More hassle for them but was the highlight for me! They also run training sessions which may be really good to inspire you?

DonkeyOaty Fri 03-Jul-15 23:37:22

Sorry missed your q earlier

If you want to offer a DBS checked service you can't easily do this as you would effectively be checking yourself. Our church hires out its Hall and acts as an Umbrella Organisation - to obtain a DBS for people who run classes or groups on their premises.

huge blah blah here for when you get a mo

Your business advisor might be one to ask for RL guidance?

BE97 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:30:27

Thanks everyone, I was reading I can request a personal disclosure myself but if the parents are staying with the children then it is not even necessary for me to have this, might be wrong?
I am going to try the afternoon session as I have had a fair bit of interest already and there aren't any around in my area (well, only sing and sign which is for babies and you have to pay in advance). I want to keep it pay as you go as that would appeal to me...Can only give it a go and see how I do? I will regret not trying it if I don't go ahead. X

DonkeyOaty Sat 04-Jul-15 10:39:51

No not necessary but might be a plus factor for parents

I think you should just get going, you can tweak once you're up and running.

Good luck!

BE97 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:50:59

Thank you, really appreciate your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to reply everyone. Xx

Lolly86 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:57:10

Sounds like a good idea to me I'm probably in the minority but my toddler naps 1030-12/1230 so afternoon groups work better for us grin

DonkeyOaty Sat 04-Jul-15 10:59:19

If you need to chew anything else over just ask. We're a nice bunch really.

BE97 Thu 14-Apr-16 13:05:35

I have just posted on something else and decided to search for this post. I went for it in the end...Afternoon group was not too successful but mornings are great - I am just about to leave my job to open a 3rd group and am also going to invest in soft play equipment to hire out at parties alongside my music parties.
Not sure if anyone will read this but I am pretty darn proud of what I have achieved since last July. smile xxx

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