If a morning with music, pom-poms, puppets, bubbles and instruments sounds like your little one’s idea of fun, then Bumblebee Beats is a must.

Beckie Oliver has been running the twice-weekly classes at the The Bedford in Balham since October. Before having children, Beckie was a secondary school music teacher. She set up Bumblebee Beats to provide a space for pre-schoolers to develop music skills through play.

Beckie plays digital piano, guitar and sometimes violin in the sessions, and brings maracas, claves, sleigh bells, rain sticks and an assortment of handheld percussion for little hands to join in.

Sessions are made up of lots of different short activities with various props, along with well-known nursery rhymes and special Bumblebee Beats songs to keep short attention spans focused. There is a different theme each week, from space and pirates, to teddy bears and pets.

As well as being great fun, pre-nursery music has been proven to help literacy and social skills. In fact, research shows that moving in time to a beat is closely linked to establishing better language skills, particularly reading, as rhythm is an integral part of language.

Beckie also often  incorporates Kodály method techniques in her teaching. This method emphasises the importance of learning how to sing on pitch with the use of hand signs to go with the solfege syllables (do, re, mi, etc), so great for developing communication.

Classes take place at The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, Balham, on Wednesdays, from 10.30 – 11am (Baby Bees), and 11am to 11.40am (Bumblebee Beats).  To make a morning of it, The Bedford offers a special kids menu after the session. The selection includes favourites like spaghetti bolognaise, fishfingers or pasta followed by an ice cream sundae and a juice for £6.95. Parking is available in Sainsbury’s carpark opposite.

First session is half price (£3). After that, drop-in sessions are £6 (£4 for siblings). A course of seven sessions costs £35.

Bumblebee beats has now started a new class on Wednesdays designed specifically for pre-crawlers (approx 3-9 months) called ‘Babybees’. It runs from 10:30-11am at the Bedford (on Wednesdays) and combines lots of singing, movement, and classical music with more sensory activities (tickle feathers, bell rattles, Peepoe scarves, parachute, bubbles, mirrors etc) to make the session more engaging for the little lovies! As with Bumblebee beats sessions the price is £6 for drop in and £5 for bundles (£35 = 7x £5).

T: 07779 662798

E: bumblebeebeats@hotmail.co.uk

W: www.bumblebeebeats.com



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