We speak to Lisa Irwin, mum of three and founder of Music Monkeys – a music and movement class for kids in Abu Dhabi.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m a trained primary teacher, originally from England and I have been living with my husband Chris in Abu Dhabi for the last seven years. We have three boys; Finlay, seven, Ollie, six and Noah, four and we are expecting another baby in May!
Wow! You are certainly a busy mum. When did Music Monkeys start operating in Abu Dhabi?
We started running two years ago although it was just a couple of groups in my play room at the time.
What makes Music Monkeys different to other music programs for kids?
Music Monkeys is fun and is delivered to the needs of the children. All my instructors follow the program I have written however they are all experienced in putting the needs of the children first. If the children want to sing certain song then we do. It’s a really fun class with lots of props, bright colourful instruments that are sourced from the UK, we have bubbles and parachute play too. We use a few recorded songs in our classes but it’s mainly us singing. Children learning from actively participating and not from listening to a CD.
How are the classes structured?
Our classes follow a routine for the children with the same structure. We start by singing Hello; a warm up song and always finish with Twinkle, Twinkle before we sing our very fun goodbye song. We also give our older children stickers. We have a mixture of songs to sing with instruments, movement/action songs, sitting down and getting up moving around the room.
What age range do you cater to?
We cater for kids aged three months to four years.
Do you run all the classes yourself?
No, I used to run them all myself but now I have a wonderful team of expat instructors. Beth is my director and will be begin to take reins next term with my support in preparation for my fourth childs arrival in May.
Do your kids attend the classes too?
My youngest did for two years, he stopped attending in September when he reached FS2. We still have to sing some of his favourites though. He also had Music Monkeys for his fourth birthday party. Baby number four will join our Baby Monkeys programme in September and I can’t wait! All of my instructor’s children attended Music Monkeys before they joined the team.
How many locations are there around the city?
We have classes running at various locations including St. Andrews Church, Music Hub (Hamdan St), Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sun & Sky Tower, Reem Island and Khalifa City B. We also run classes in Mosaic Nursery, Blooming Buds Nursery, Kidz Link (three branches) and we are starting classes in Treehouse Nursery this term too.
Can parents sign up on a per class basis? What are the fees?
We offer a termly sign up as children get the most out of classes when they attend over a set period of time. Our next term is 10 weeks and costs start at Dhs400.
What other services do you offer for kids?
Birthday Parties! Our fab team will come and provide entertainment for your little ones birthday.
For more information on Music Monkeys visit their website www.musicmonkeys.ae or call (056 622 5664).