Hip Hurray! Funky Monkey Club has reached a toddler age, our company turned one in December. Even though entrepreneurship can be challenging especially during its first year we have had many moments of small victories and lovely encounters with customers. Here are some memories from the Fall of 2018 and a quick look into the new year.
OUR KIDS’ MUSIC PROGRAM IS A MELTING POT OF CULTURES
We started a music class in English in Espoo, Tapiola this last Fall. We have had both Finns and people from outside Finland as customers, from anywhere between Turkey to China. It is delightful to notice that even in our music classes in Finnish in Helsinki and Espoo we have heard languages such as English, Swedish, French, German and Hungarian. We are a one happy group of music loving people from all around the globe, and we meet in the classroom, in the world of families. This vibrant multiculturalism brings me back memories from New York, and I feel like home in this kind of environment. I love that this happens in Finland!
Speaking of cultures – in the music class we get to know new music genres and cultures every week. This Fall we have danced to calypso, celtic music, klezmer, hip hop and Finnish rock, among others. In this video you can see what happens on our Zimbabwe theme week (apologies, only available in Finnish):
CHILDREN IN THE FOCAL POINT
On live karaoke the popular tunes have been Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes where one can goof around in a high-speed tempo. Let It Go (Frozen) has been sung both in Finnish and in English. All time favorites have been songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Itsy Bitsy Spider or Wheels On a Bus.
On the babies music program this Fall we had a pleasure of having twin brothers in the class. The brave mother came alone with her prescious boys and I had the honor to have one in my arms from time to time when the mother’s arms could handle only the other.
During the season even the smallest babies transformed into curious little fellows that jiggled to the music and had a focused look on the activities. Sometimes they would crawl towards me, climb on my lap and hug me. These moments were very touching. On the other hand, the older kids would jump with us and imitate animals in the animal song, furiously kicking like donkeys for example. The swaying hands went up during our theme song and the goodbye song. And in the end I got enthusiastic high-fives from everyone!
ROCKING OUT AT DAYCARE CENTERS
In the end of the year we got some invitations to visit at a few daycare places in Helsinki and Espoo. We held concerts for about 40-50 children at a time with various age groups (from 1-year-olds to 6-year-olds) in one go. It was great to see how the small and big ones had their fun time together. The most fun was when the suspicious 5-6-year-olds finally loosened up and ended up grabbing my legs roaring like lions (while singing the Lion Hunt song). The daycare staff swayed to the reggae music and thanked us in the end; the show had been entertaining for them as well. The high energy in these daycare concerts was amazing and I hope we get to do these a lot more in the new year!
MOTHERS AND FATHERS MAKE MUSIC AS WELL
We have two instructors in our music classes; me and my husband Ape. Dads who come in with their child get to talk mens’stuff with Ape in the end of the class when there is a chance to try out our big instruments. It’s more of a norm than not to see a father try out Ape’s cool electric guitar right after their kid. This is a music program for the whole family, you know?
On every class we play cover hit tunes and this Fall’s favorite on the Finnish classes was Ultra Bra’s song “Sinä lähdit pois”. I calculated its success by the way mothers sang to it. Almost every other mom were singing the lyrics with us. On the English classes I think one of the favorites was Totos’ Africa. We hope to see this more often – that the adults would sing along with us more and more. After all, we offer a music program that is for the whole family. Did I mention that already? 😉
THE JOY OF MUSIC CONTINUES
In the spring of 2019 we continue our music fun as before, although we do have a few new things happening. In Helsinki City Center, in Aleksanterin Teatteri we start our first class in English for babies and 1-year-olds. Also, at Mommy&Me in Kulosaari we have extended variety of classes on Wednesday evenings. Also a class for older kids in English. We will bring a few new songs and activities to the plate and of course an armful of joy and memorable experiences to the both small and big members of the family!
But for a little while more, let’s enjoy this holiday season!