‘I didn’t realise it would be THIS quiet!’: Northampton mum running baby and toddler music groups asks for public’s help after bookings reach an all time low
Former primary school teacher, Claire Cooper, runs music sessions for babies and toddlers in Northampton but bookings this summer have been ‘hit and miss’.
A Northampton mum, who runs regular baby and toddler music sessions, has been “overwhelmed” by public support after she shared a Facebook post showing how empty her classes have been recently.
In September 2020, Claire Cooper gave up primary school teaching after 11 years to spend more time with her baby daughter. She started to run ‘Moo Music’ sessions every Tuesday morning at Ecton Village Hall and every Wednesday and Friday morning at Roade Village Hall.
This musical venture got off to a very good start up until this summer, which saw a plunge in bookings.
Claire, from Ecton, said: “I know from other groups that I speak to in the area that summer is a bit hit and miss because people go away and obviously, with the pandemic, people are now taking the chance to go away when they can, I think.
“This is my only source of income really at the moment. My bookings work on a weekly basis and it’s pay-as-you-go week to week so I’m like I don’t know if I’m going to make enough money to pay my bills. Luckily, my other half is very supportive but it’s just really up and down.”
The former primary school teacher sadly took to Facebook on Wednesday, August 11 to share a picture of her empty class at Roade Village Hall, saying: “Unfortunately, this is the scene that I’m looking at right now… so I’m writing this post to ask for your help!
“Sadly summer has led to bookings being really hit and miss. I knew that this may be the case but I didn't realise it would be THIS quiet! Throughout the summer, I am continuing to offer my full timetable of weekly pay-as-you-go sessions allowing people the opportunity to dip in and out of sessions! School age siblings are also more than welcome to attend with a younger sibling.”
Claire added that she noticed her social media posts were reaching fewer and fewer people so she asked if people would share her small business’ Facebook page to reach more families with little ones because she heavily relies on word of mouth and reviews to reach new customers.
Nothing, however, could have prepared Claire for the huge public response to her plea. Her Facebook post was shared over 600 times across the county and received nearly 200 comments.
Talking about her initial reaction to the public response, Claire said: “I just thought I would get like 10 shares but it has just gone absolutely crazy and, since then, a few of the bookings have gone up and I’m still not completely full so there are still spaces but yeah I still did not expect that at all!
“I’m really overwhelmed with support and a massive thank you to everybody who has shared or liked or commented! It has been incredible.”
The interactive Moo Music sessions allow babies and children up to five-years-old to develop memory, language and coordination skills through singing, dancing and playing. There are around 125 original Moo Music songs that are used at the sessions and aim to be positive, uplifting and educational.
Moo Music runs separate sessions for different age groups including babies (newborns to prewalkers), Mixed 0-5 years (ideal for siblings) and Minis (1-3 years). A single session costs £5.50 and lasts for 40 minutes with sibling discounts available at £9 for two children.
Claire, talking about her tiny regulars, said: “I’ve got some who have come from the beginning like when they were baby babies and now they’re toddling around and you can see, as soon as that first song comes on, they’re recognising it and doing the actions and I just think it’s brilliant, it makes me feel happy, they’re so funny."
"Come along and try Moo Music sessions because I am sure that your children will absolutely love it and there’s bits for everyone. Also, I run smaller groups so, even when I am fully booked, its only up to 12 people at the moment, it’s also suitable for children who are not as confident or who may take a while to come around because it’s not too overwhelming with lots of children running around and there’s definitely something for everyone whether it’s singing, dancing and dressing up."
Bookings operate on a pay-as-you-go basis so parents can have the flexibility of not having to commit to a whole term. Moo Music is currently taking up to 12 children per session.
From September, Claire will also be running on Monday mornings at Rushden 360 Play, where children will be able to stay and play at the soft play centre after their Moo Music session for an additional £2.50.
To find out more about Moo Music Northampton, visit https://moo-music.co.uk/areas/northampton or call Claire on 07736 034645.