My First Blog – My Journey with Little Voices – by a full time working mummy of 2 with a new business venture too!
The journey began in Summer 2014, Frozen Fever was in the air and my little girl sang ‘Let it go’ every waking hour of the day. Having heard from a good friend about Little Voices I did the usual Facebook stalk (as you do) on their business page and as luck would have it they were running a theatre week called ‘Frozen – All Tangled up’, I registered my interest and received a call from the lovely Grace. I asked questions (probably too many) and Grace had all the answers I needed and I knew it would be right to book my daughter on for the week…I then took a sharp intake of breath as I was told the cost, my initial thoughts…how much!…is it worth it…will I get value for money…the answer was YES, YES and YES. When I watched the performance on the Friday all the children shone, it took me by surprise just how much they had all learnt in the space of 4 days. You could see friendships had formed and they all loved performing with each other. At the end Grace said a little bit about each child (lovely touch) and mentioned that they were offering Free Trial Lessons in September, I took the information away and discussed with the other half and we thought we would give it a try, a ‘phone call and form filled in later, and she was booked on.
The free trial lesson went well, excellent feedback from my daughter and I asked about enrolment, another sharp in take of breath, same questions running through my head, Grace gave me a full run down of what was included and then it actually made complete sense, it was a fixed fee (no hidden extra’s, unless booking on to workshops/theatre weeks) everything from uniform, notebook, exam prep and exam day was included. We didn’t look back.
2015 – Being a mezzo soprano myself and after a few months of being part of Little Voices, I asked about singing lessons for myself, although I was trained I needed fine tuning and it was then that I met the lovely Jane, founder and MD of Little Voices Limited, I attended my first lesson (a little rusty) and loved it, took on board everything Jane said and each time came back stronger and more at ease with what my voice could and couldn’t do, bad habits disappeared and I had my confidence back.
It was during one lesson in 2015 that Jane mentioned about being part of the Little Voices network and becoming a franchisee, after an initial chat, I couldn’t think about anything else and the rest of my lesson was a blur, I couldn’t get it out of my mind…could I do it…am I in the right position…do I have the support…. I had all of these but was I a risk taker at that moment in time…no. I spoke in great detail with Jane (we had formed a bond and mutual trust) and after months of deliberation, with a heavy heart I politely declined but that wasn’t the end, words of wisdom from Jane and she said “you would make a fantastic vocal tutor for the Clitheroe centre, is that something you would consider?” Initially I was shocked, although I’m qualified I’d never taught, but then thought why not!
April 2016 – First night of teaching at Clitheroe and 3 lessons in front of me, I was a tad nervous! However, it was the most fabulous night, with amazing children (who I have taught ever since and there have been new members too), I was fully supported by Jane and fellow franchisee Claudia, who was always on hand to offer advice and provide the necessary lesson materials. I’m very lucky that I now class them as friends, not just colleagues. So much happened this year I started teaching, prepared Children for their exams, wrote my first set of reports and assisted Claudia on one of her Theatre Weeks, I’d gone from watching in the audience, to being part of the team, teaching the children and helping them put on a fabulous show, understanding exactly how much work goes in to just one of these weeks.
Early 2017 – Working full time, teaching one night a week and I still couldn’t get the franchisee offer out of my head…a ‘phone call to Jane and the territory was still available…visit to head office…more discussions and questions and this time I just decided to take the risk and ‘go for it! My daughter is still loving Little Voices and my son is now a very keen member of his mini voices class! Both absolutely love the Theatre Weeks and the fabulous tutors in Clitheroe.
Summer 2017 – a whole week of franchise training, what an eye opener, my head was spinning but I’m glad I had the company and support of a fellow new franchisee to the network Lucy Kellet-Baines – Principal of Little Voices Bexley, who I’m still in touch with now.
December 2017 Several training courses later (safeguarding, fire marshal and paediatric first aid to name a few) and I was all set for my first event – Sparkle and Shine – a Christmas Play in a day. The day ran smoothly, the kids performed with such confidence and I knew that this was the best decision I had made.
I taught my last class for Clitheroe and the kids enjoyed their last night…they will miss all their friends and the amazing tutors but they are now my mini ambassadors!
10th January 2018 – ‘Opening Night’ – to say I was nervous was an understatement. 3.30 arrived, the children waltzed into the hall, everything went well and I could breathe, I’d done it!!
On this amazing journey, I have gone from a parent, to a tutor and parent, to a Principal of my very own Little Voices and I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family, friends and all the Little Voices team.
I care about each and every child who comes through the Little Voices door and I will strive to provide them with the most inspirational lessons in Singing and Drama.