What do you learn after 10 years training #children in drama and singing and at the same time building a national #franchise business?

I cannot believe that this month we celebrate our 10th Birthday at Little Voices. Little did I know that 10 years on from that conversation in a Blackburn coffee shop with fellow co founder Holly Hammond that Little Voices would be a national success, our 100% pass rate in all exams would remain across the country and I would be surrounded by the most caring, passionate and driven people striving to sustain our core beliefs every day.

In 2007 we did not start with the end goal in mind in fact quite the opposite. We had in our minds the word ‘excellence’. That was it. We wanted to provide ‘drama and singing lessons of distinction!’ We would do every element to the best of our ability and provide excellent tuition. We shared a passion for training children well in drama and singing, caring and nurturing their skills, helping them to believe in themselves and truly believed in the power of tuition in drama and singing to impact a child’s entire life – being honest we also benefited from of a few extra pounds in our bank accounts each month. Honestly that was it! 10 years on we are still ensuring that EVERY child leaves EVERY lesson knowing one thing that they have done well and one thing that they need to improve upon and striving for excellence in every part of the company.

A business really can grow from very humble beginnings and a couple of core elements despite a roller coaster 10 years with challenges galore I believe that we have kept what made Little Voices special at the heart of all that we do today.

We truly believe:

  • In gaining life skills to follow your dreams
  • That each and every person has something amazing to share
  • In inspiring everyone to be the best that they can be!
  • In being positive & happy – “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”
  • Learning should be a fun and a happy experience

And we are passionate about building confidence and nurturing talent

We do this by working with the most fantastic tutors and franchisees one could wish to know. I always say that there is no ‘I’ in team and there isn’t. We want to make a positive influence on as many children’s lives as possible and this is impossible to achieve alone. By franchising and recruiting excellent Principals and Tutors we have been able to bring Little Voices to so many more families across the UK and we are still growing!

We have shaped Little Voices to really stand out of the crowd. We are not a theatre school or a performance based training organisation. They exist in towns and cities across the country and they play an important part in a child’s development but fundamental to a child’s success is their belief in themselves and the nurturing of their individual strengths and weaknesses. They need individual attention, care and the time to have their skills nurtured.

We have worked hard to now shout from the rooftops that we sit in the education industry and provide inspirational music and drama education to all children working in partnership for the most part with schools. We work alongside schools both in the school day and as an activity accessible after school for those parents that want to ensure their child has life skills and the confidence to pursue any career that they choose to and all of this is done in a fun, structured way in a very small group. Every child takes examinations with L.A.M.D.A. and this helps them to embrace an examination situation in a positive way as well as building their CV from a very young age. As L.A.M.D.A.’s second biggest customer, globally, we are clearly doing something right both for the children and those that work with us.We take away the fear away from that word ‘exam’. Young people are assessed and examined throughout their school life and we can help children to approach this in a fearless way, positively and with confidence. At the same time children and parents are unknowingly building their child’s CV from a very young age and equipping them for interviews, presentations, meetings and a life of success in whichever career they choose!

Of course we have had several children that have gone on to pursue a professional career in the industry but the vast majority of our children leave us prepared for the big wide world of work in a range of professions that also happens to include the acting/music profession.We exist to help add important layers to a child’s education. It is all about the individual child and ensuring that they become the best that they can be.

So what have I learnt and what can I share:

You never stop learning and neither should you! Teaching is a vocation and it is a two way thing. Embrace it – I do! I am hungry to learn constantly. Children teach you so much about yourself as well as you facilitating their learning.

It’s not easy – Every challenge that you face should be embraced as an opportunity to learn.

You get out what you put in and sometimes you are putting so much in and getting very little out that it takes a strong mental determination and passion to keep you going. Take the rough with the smooth as my dad always said!

There is never a quick win it takes blood, sweat and tears and practice makes perfect!

If you are interested in receiving our 10th Anniversary Newsletter and maybe even having a chat about any aspect of Little Voices – joining us on our national mission, sending your child to lessons, teaching for us et al. please don’t hesitate to send me an email and we can take it from there. jane@littlevoices.org.uk

Jane the Principal of Little Voices Flagship is Nominated for Woman Franchisor of the Year Award 2016

Woman Franchisor of the Year Award 2016A huge accolade for the entire network of Little Voices; every Franchisee, Tutor, Parent and Pupil. Proud to announce that our Managing Director of Little Voices has reached the finals of the EWIF Woman Franchisor of the Year Awards.

Your child excelling in their Christmas Production or nativity or struggling with the enormity of it all! – from a parent and a teacher’s perspective!

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It was during the Christmas period that my own voice was really spotted at my Junior School, Heathfield! We were performing the nativity “He’s Only a Baby” and I was chosen to be Mary. I sang solo for the very first time and my parents and grandparents were there to watch, stunned and amazed. All the other parents were apparently coming up to them afterwards saying “Oh my goodness her voice is outstanding where does she have singing lessons?” I didn’t have singing lessons, I didn’t really even know that I was that good a singer. But I was, it seemed, and from that performance on I was bitten by the singing bug and the love of performing. It gave me the confidence to pursue singing lessons and it gave my parents the foresight to channel my passion and something that I was good at. It is thanks to them that my talent for performing was nurtured from this point on! Little did they know that the cost would run into thousands and thousands years on and two degrees later!

It is always at this time of year that you are invited into school to see the Christmas Nativity or School Production as a parent or you are in the midst of frantically pulling a performance together as a teacher.

I believe that it is at this time of year that potential in children is spotted as parents and teachers alike see a child in a different light. They see them cope with the nerves, the pressure, the excitement and the challenge of performance. Those children that have been hiding their light under a bushel bubble to the surface! They achieve new things and every child pushes their comfort boundary and rises to the challenge.

I saw this only last night when I found myself in a dual role as teacher and parent. My own daughter was performing in her school Christmas nativity performance; however, as the teacher in charge of the choir I was very much a part of the production too.

As a parent I know firsthand how it feels to see your child standing on stage performing, you only have eyes for them. However, last night, in my teacher role, I accompanied and observed children of all ages excelling in their performances both sung, spoken and dramatically on stage in the most beautiful church. I was so proud and I could see pride in all of their parent’s faces too in the audience of several hundred. To be honest I couldn’t really see my own child from where I was positioned with the piano and so I couldn’t be parent last night, sadly!

Several children sang solo for the first time and they were absolutely stunning in their composure and vocal delivery. This may be the start of their singing bug……..it may be the first time that the parents think, “gosh we have to channel this talent and look for singing lessons and drama lessons for our child.”

Among a school performance the success is not just about the ‘stars of the show’ it runs so much deeper than that. There are many less confident children involved too and their success is often just in being able to stand in front of such a mass of people. For some, performing is a really daunting experience but I absolutely know that the benefits of learning how to perform and learning in a fun environment are immense.  The benefits for them in later life are immeasurable; we all have to communicate to strangers in our workplace, we all have to learn to project our voices and have the confidence to deal with interview (scary) situations. It is so important that children are given the skills to be able to deal with these life situations.

When I see a child on the stage struggling to cope with the attention and daunting situation or not clearly enunciating their words it is equally a child that I want to help and work with to develop the skills through drama and singing to perform. This is as important to me as wanting to help those with talent shining through.

If this rings true with you and anything I have said has touched you, or sounds like your child this December then I urge you to find something next year to help your child to grow. It is the perfect time for parents to look for an after school activity that can help them develop their confidence next year or develop their talent. You will witness the growth of their confidence in all areas of their life in the future.

My little 7 year old is a bundle of energy and excitement as the adrenalin kicks in and she is keen to get on stage and perform. This is no doubt because she has it in her blood, I suppose, but also because she has had it nurtured for so many years at Little Voices. Starting the company was the best thing that I ever did all those years ago, I have the best of all worlds and seeing children develop is the most rewarding of all!

Leading from the Top;Leading by Example

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Marking the closing of the recent National Entrepreneurs Convention at the ICC in Birmingham, Jane Maudsley, Founder and Managing Director of Little Voices, national performing arts training organisation, put on a spectacular performance of The Impossible Dream to inspire the 1500 strong audience of fellow business owners, teachers of performing arts and pupils to believe in the power of their Dreams – that sometimes seem impossible. Leading by example from the very top Jane is passionate about inspiring and training the Principals, Tutors and Pupils within Little Voices so that they grow in confidence and never feel that their dream is unreachable!

 

Mezzo Soprano, Jane commented: “For months I had to keep this performance quiet so that it would have a significant impact at the end of the two day convention and finally it happened. It is all about having a dream and then achieving it and the lyrics perfectly reflect this. Whether you are a performer, teacher or pupil it is so important to have those dreams and to remember that we are capable of realising them,” she said.

 

“I started out as a Mezzo Soprano but at that time did not think of myself as a business, I went on to teach and again slipped into a role that I was unhappy in within schools and teaching at home: again not thinking of myself as a business. I then sat down and pictured that dream and I am now realising it! I created Little Voices, a business which provides teachers with a vehicle to build a future, build a business, and teach the subject they love, successfully, both as a personal aspiration and a financial one. As artists, we rarely set out as business people, but we have to operate like a business whether we are a performer, a teacher or a pupil aspiring to the stage. This performance was the pinnacle for me, highlighting that you can have it all, perform, run a business and be yourself. My performance hopefully inspired our pupils, inspired our tutors and sent a strong message to all that if you want to receive training for your child or you want a successful business model then look no further than Little Voices.”

 

Before Jane went on stage, one of her Little Voices’ pupils Karen Wilkinson, said: “Thinking about you all day today so proud of my teacher performing and showing us all how it can be done.”

 

And one of the Little Voices’ Principals, Marie Blount from Fulham said:“You sang like a perfect angel at the convention last week. You’re incredible and what we have as an organisation is simply outstanding for all involved; pupils, tutors and Principals.”

 

 

Jane closed the ceremony for the Entrepreneurs Convention; a place where business people from across Europe discover what’s new and innovative in business right now and how they can build super successful businesses, during which the likes of Apple co founder Steve Wozniak, spoke on stage, to showcase how to head for your Impossible Dreams!

 

Little Voices offers lessons in singing and acting for children over the age of four. Its students have gone on to gain places in prestigious acting schools and television shows for Channel 4 and the BBC. The professional approach that Little Voices takes to tuition, together with small classes capped at six students, helps students to improve quickly and attain high standards. Becoming a Principal and having your own Little Voices provides a fantastic opportunity for individuals to join a supportive network using a tried, tested and proven business model.

 

For more information about becoming a Little Voices Principal or to find out if lessons are in your area please contact Grace at Little Voices Head Office on 01254 207516 or visit the website http://www.littlevoices.org.uk

 

– Ends –

 

Notes to the Editor:

For further media information contact:         Jane Maudsley

01254 207516

jane@littlevoices.org.uk

 

Further pictures and interviews with parents, children and the Founder of Little Voices are available on request. Do please email or call.

 

More information on Little Voices:

Little Voices was established in September 2007 in the North-West of England by its founders Holly Hammond and Jane Maudsley, who had a passion to create Drama and Singing lessons of Distinction; Little Voices was formed and within its first year became a national success.

Jane Maudsley, a professional opera singer, graduate of the RSAMD and a highly respected vocal tutor was keen to build a reputation in the performing arts industry for providing Drama and Singing training at the highest level. Little Voices has many centres in the North West but nationally locations are opening in the South West, a second venue in London and Yorkshire.

All Tutors hold relevant Music or Drama qualifications and have a wealth of experience in the performing arts industry. They have fully compliant with our Safeguarding Policies and Procedure and have enhanced DBS checks.  All of our Tutors are trained, supported and led by Little Voices Principals and Managing Director, Jane Maudsley.

Following you dreams after Little Voices

Fiona Porritt

Fiona Porritt tells us all about her journey post Little Voices!

Where are you now? (eg. College/uni/career and location in the world)

I have just completed my second year, studying Theatre at Brunel University in London.

After leaving school and completing my time at Little Voices I was accepted onto the Musical Theatre foundation course at The Oxford School of Drama. This was a natural progression from the training I had gained at Little Voices. I am currently an intern for Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company. This has given me invaluable experience of the inner workings of a successful theatre company. I recently worked the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where I was stage manager on their production of ‘Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie’.

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I hope that I’m still young enough to not know exactly what I want to be when I grow up! However I know for sure that I’d like to work within theatre, preferably in a creative and collaborative environment.

 

When did you first join Little Voices?

When I started sixth form.

 

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

I definitely gained a lot of confidence in my ability. I was paired with girls in older years to me and this pushed me to work hard in lessons.

As I completed my Grade 8 I gained UCAS points. When applying for university courses it gave me something else to write about. I believe that universities look at these qualifications very positively, even if it isn’t a career within the arts you with to pursue.

 

What did you love about the lessons?

I loved working in partners and singing duets. I had experienced other acting and singing exams before but they had always been on my own. We were able to try out our ideas in what was a safe environment, and then see the rewards for our efforts in the exam results we achieved.

 

Can you give a one line/quote advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps? (what should they absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

Take every opportunity that is given to you as any experience is valuable.

Ciara Baxendale life before RADA at Little Voices and her future career

Ciara Baxendale

We were really privileged to conduct this week’s past pupil profile with Ciara Baxendale, one of the first Little Voices pupils from 2007 and now one of the youngest students studying at RADA. She offers advice and words of inspiration for up and coming actors/singers at Little Voices.

Where are you now? (eg. college/uni/career and location in the world)

I am currently living and working in London, having completed the foundation course in Acting at RADA in March 2014.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to continue acting for as long as I can, and would like the opportunity to work professionally on the stage, as so far I have mainly worked in Television and Film. I am also interested in producing, and would like to create my own films in the future.

When did you first join Little Voices?

I joined Little Voices when it first began as one of the first ever pupils in 2007 How did you/your parents hear about Little Voices?

I heard about Little Voices from my school, Westholme, where I had singing lessons and my teacher recommended that I try one of the classes.

What made you attend and stay with Little Voices?

I loved the lessons and formed a close-knit bond with the members of my group. I was always encouraged by the teachers, which boosted my confidence and encouraged me to stretch myself in performance.

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

I definitely think Little Voices helped me by giving me confidence, especially singing in front of others. I have had several auditions where I have had to sing and I would have been a lot more nervous without my training from Little Voices, which encouraged me to sing front of others, and to perform the song, not to just sing it!

What did you love about your lessons?

My favourite thing about lessons was preparing for exams. I know it sounds odd but I actually really enjoyed taking LAMDA exams and reading the examiners comments so I would know what to improve on next time around, and I loved getting to learn lots of different songs from all the musicals and having the chance to play lots of different roles!

Can you give a one line quote/advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?  (what they should absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

If you truly want to reach your goal, you will achieve it. Success comes from belief in yourself, don’t listen to anyone who says that you can’t do it.

 

Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination for Jane!

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Entrepreneur of the Year for Performing Arts Business Woman

Performing Arts businesswoman and opera singer, Jane Maudsley, has been nominated for the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Later this month Jane will travel to the ICC in Birmingham to see if she is successful in receiving this National Award from the host of the Awards ceremony, Alistair McGowan.
Jane is the co founder of Little Voices and started the performing arts business 7 years ago in Blackburn, Lancashire. Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons of a maximum of 8 pupils to maximise student development. Two years ago Jane franchised the business across the UK to help passionate individuals with an interest and expertise in the performing arts to run successful businesses in a supportive and knowledgeable network. She now boasts locations in West Kent, Dorset, London, Peterborough, Greater Manchester, The Fylde, Preston, Yorkshire and of course the flagship locations run very successfully in Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.
Jane commented: “I am thrilled that I have been nominated for this award. I love what I do and bounce out of bed every morning so eager to get to work! It is an honour to be in this category and it is an award that I would treasure and feel is representative of the entire team of Franchisees, Tutors, Parents and Pupils that have enabled my success with Little Voices. There is no ‘I’ in team and we have the best support network ever. I will only accept the best and hence why our vision for the future is to be the only performing arts organisation that parents consider when they are looking for high quality training in the UK,” she said.

Little Voices is elite training for those children who wish to build their confidence or head for a life on the stage! They pride themselves on caring for each and every child and nurturing their talent and confidence so that they are well prepared for life. They boast a 100% pass rate in all of their exams and excel with Merits and Distinctions year after year.

Jane is a professionally trained Opera Singer and will also be singing at the ICC at the closing ceremony of the Entrepreneurs Convention. It will be a huge accolade if she can also secure this award!

For more information about Little Voices lessons for your son/daughter or the business opportunities that Little Voices offers please contact Jane directly on 01254 207516 jane@littlevoices.org.uk

100% Exam success for the SEVENTH year running

A few of the pupils with their certificates!

A few of the pupils with their certificates!

Top LAMDA Exam Success for Little Voices Blackburn

 

Little Voices Blackburn performing arts school has helped students in Blackburn to achieve outstanding results in this year’s London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations. In June, 156 children took exams in grades 1 – 8 with over 86% achieving a distinctions and merits, and yet again, Little Voices has maintained its outstanding 100% pass record. The students ranged from aged 4 to 18 years old.

 

Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons to maximise student development. Principal, Jane Maudsley commented: “We are thrilled that our students’ talents have been recognised through these amazing results and are so proud of all of them. It is always rewarding to be part of an organisation that helps students to achieve their ambitions,” she said.

 

LAMDA examinations are prestigious awards, from which students can gain UCAS points to help with their university applications. As part of the exam, students must perform their musical theatre piece for the examiner with confidence. Erin Keedy, Olivia Maudsley, Sadie-May Bolton and Natasha Harry-Coombes all achieved exceptional marks with a very high distinction, for their performance of Oliver!. Olivia (aged 7) said, “I loved performing the Artful Dodger in Oliver! We all tried so hard, so I’m really happy!”

 

Little Voices in Blackburn has been running since September 2007 during which time Jane Maudsley has trained students in drama and singing, helping them to achieve consistently impressive LAMDA results. In which time over 1357 exams have been entered.

 

For more information about Little Voices in Blackburn please contact Grace on 01254 207516 or grace@littlevoices.org.uk or visit the website http://www.littlevoices.org.uk

Past Pupil Mary Fulforth proves that life after Little Voices is not just about a career on the stage

Past Pupil - Graduated in 2011 from Little Voices Blackburn

Past Pupil – Graduated in 2011 from Little Voices Blackburn

This week’s past pupil profile features Mary Fulforth. We asked Mary lots of questions and it is so interesting to hear what path she is on now! The Stage was not where she wanted to be but Little Voices helped her with so many life skills that prepared her for her career as a physiotherapist!

I graduated from Northumbria University July 2013 with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy. Then I went to France for 4 months in the alps, over winter, doing a ski season – which was amazing. And now I’m back home in sunny Lancashire working as a full time junior physiotherapist in East Lancs and I’m really enjoying it.

I’m planning on staying in this job for the next couple of years, then I really hope to jet off again to experience some other parts of the world & who knows, maybe work as a physio somewhere in the world.

I do believe I was one if the first people to join Little Voices back in 2007. I stayed for the next 3 years achieving Grade 8 with a Distinction. It has most definitely made me a more confident person in all aspects of my life. I loved lessons every Tuesday night, full of fun, laughter & doing something that we all enjoyed so much.

I would say to anybody, even those who aren’t confident enough to join a school play or sing or speak in public, to join Little Voices. I certainly wouldn’t have been in 3 of my school’s musicals had I not gone to Little Voices.

Exam success – 100% PASS RATE REMAINS

 

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