Wow I am thrilled to be Networking Mummies Hampshire mum of the month! I started my business on a bit of a whim really, well to say it was a whim implies I didn’t think about it which of course I did, but I didn’t really think about the business side, I just knew I had this great idea and I knew it would surprise people when they saw it working!
My business is Muchachos Singing Spanish and I work with children from around 20months and their parents teaching Spanish through song and dance. Believe me when I say that this is nothing like the French lessons you did at school J The thing that always makes my day is to see the parents in awe when after a few classes their little ones start to get involved, speaking Spanish and dancing. They say things like “I believe you now!” and always comment on my energy and enthusiasm! I am on a mission to create lots of little linguists in Britain; as compared to most countries we really don’t value the benefits of language learning enough and this will have a long term effect on our country. That’s not just my opinion there are large organisations like Speak to the Future who research and publish this too.
Muchachos works because, music, plus songs, plus movement, plus props really does access lots of areas of the brain and make the information sink in. It also works because children at this age are so open to language learning it is truly the best time to take advantage of it. Not only does it work but it has also been proven to increase brain development and can therefore increase a child’s capacity for learning, creativity, improve their mother tongue, make them better at problem solving, ward of Alzheimer’s, the list of benefits just goes on. There are so many studies around at the moment which demonstrate the incredible power of bilingualism and starting at a young age is the first step to easy language acquisition.
Another thing I love about the Muchachos programme is that by using traditional and well known songs children are also learning about another culture and could visit a Spanish speaking country and sing a song along with a child from the country. To truly learn a language you also need to understand and appreciate the culture of the countries where it is spoken.
I am so passionate about what I do and I love that it is my own and that I created it, I have never felt under pressure to expand quickly or take the business in a direction I don’t want to go. I have 2 daughters who are 4 and 5 and I enjoy being around for them and fitting my work around them even if that does mean working late and night and very early in the morning at times. They told me the other day that they didn’t want to go to school and I replied that I had to go to work too, to which they responded with “But Spanish is fun mummy!”
In fact, the main reason I am really starting to grow my business at the moment is that my youngest started school In September. I now have another lovely lady working with me delivering the Muchachos programme and hope to find a few more in 2013. I am also working on C’est Chouette Singing French for next year. I love the connection I get with the families who come along to classes and feel very privileged to be teaching the children. I am proud to say that I have children who I have been working with now for 6 terms.
I also enjoy looking at new ways to bring language learning to people’s lives and I recently ran an international link up with Music with Sara in LA , where our classes sang songs together. I am currently working on a multilingual workshop for primary schools with the Kings Theatre in Southsea which will be available next year too.
The business side of things has been a steep learning curve for me and I am still learning. I have had a lot of help with that from Networking Mummies, WiBBLE and Step by Step Listening. There are lots of networking groups out there but I find Networking Mummies so approachable and great value for money. I can’t wait to develop my business more and create thousands of little linguists across the country, wish me luck. J