It all started more than 20 years ago when I was a singer-songwriter with two little girls Lily and Mimi. I often helped out in the local family centre, leading the singing during circle time. Pretty soon I realised that there are only so many times you can sing Incy Wincy Spider! So I started to write new songs, taking my inspiration from the children I saw at the family centre.
This led to my first children’s music sessions. I needed some cost-effective alternatives to shop-bought instruments and realised I could make a child-friendly and cheap percussion kit from things in my recycling box! And so Boogie Mites was born…and it has been a long and exciting journey from that first beginning.
Who could have guessed that the very first children’s song I wrote, ‘Clap Clap Clap’ would be featured on the British Council and Education City websites and is now sung by children from Tennessee to Toledo. Today, thousands of early years settings in India, Australia, Asia, Dubai and all over Europe sing Boogie Mites songs every day, learning and having fun through the power of music.
Of course, Boogie Mites has never been just me. Today, my business partner Sue and I work alongside our wonderful head office team, our teachers, trainers and our licensees to make learning through music available to early years educators and families in the UK and worldwide.
I started my Boogie Mites journey as a parent. I took my two young boys to Harriet’s music sessions and loved every minute of it! Music was a big part of my childhood and I love singing in my local choir.
In 2001 I was on extended maternity leave from my business career when I moved to Portsmouth. There was nothing like Boogie Mites in Portsmouth so I got in touch with Harriet and began to trial some Boogie Mites sessions in my local church hall. I quickly saw how the Boogie Mites songs and activities not only engaged children and adults but also supported the development of the children, particularly in communication and social skills.
I began to research the benefits of music making in early years and was amazed to find a wealth of evidence demonstrating the music power of music to boost early brain development. From that moment I began to link the Boogie Mites music workshops to early years development and complied programmes specific to different ages and stages of development.
It wasn’t long before others began to take notice and we were thrilled to be awarded a contract with Portsmouth City Council to develop a practitioner training programme, based on Boogie Mites songs and music activities, to support the roll out of the phonics guidance, Letters and Sounds Phase 1.
And so our mission became clear…
To offer all early years families and practitioners the knowledge, resources and confidence to harness the brain-boosting fun of active music-making each and every day.
In 2016 Lucy joined our Head Office team. Lucy had been a parent bringing her girls to Portsmouth classes for many years during her extended maternity break from an IT project management career. Her IT skills have been a valuable contribution to development of the digital resources platform, data bases and online processes.
Harriet, Sue and Lucy feel lucky and proud to work with the Boogie Mites team, towards achieving our mission and following our ethos.
Our guiding principles in efforts to achieve this mission are as follows:
- Every child deserves the opportunity to develop their innate musicality in early years
- To be an effective music leader in early years you do not need to be a musician, you just need the training, confidence and the resources. You can do it!
- The props and instruments should be low or no cost and environment friendly.
- The Boogie Mites Music Programmes should be accessible to all, not just those who can afford it.
- Community cohesion is an additional aim for licensee Boogie Mites businesses.