A sad announcement… retirement beckons!
With tremendous regret I have to tell you that Little Acorns baby and toddler music will be running its last ever session tomorrow – Wednesday, March 26th 2019.
The number of clients has, alas, dwindled to such a point that I am now actually paying to work. The combined overheads now exceed the income which has converted my once thriving business into a hobby. I am not a person who has ever been particularly motivated by money but this is clearly unsustainable.
I have been running kids’ music sessions at St Mary’s in Putney for over 23 years so this is clearly a wrench but in a world where most businesses fail in their first five years, some statistics give me some cause for pride:
- 2668 kids from over 1972 families have attended 5413 sessions since I started Little Acorns.
- I’ve performed at 189 kids’ birthday parties.
- Attendance reached a peak of 179 kids one week in 2007.
- The Xmas Singalong charity concerts we gave during the heyday raised useful cash for worthy causes. One event alone raised over £1200 for child victims of HIV in Zimbabwe, another supported the local London homeless and another contributed to the invaluable international humanitarian work of Médecins Sans Frontières.
- My two volumes of Little Acorns kids’ classic song CDs have made combined sales of 2242 copies..
A thousand thanks go out to my family and the management and clergy of St Mary’s for their incredible support, and most of all I offer my sincerest gratitude to all my little customers and their parents and carers over the years.
It has been a joy and a privilege to do what I have always said was the best job in the world. As I tell kids who leave the group, “Have a good life and don’t over-do it.”
David Fisher (26th March 2019)
Baby And Toddler Music Classes in Putney, SW15
Introducing babies and toddlers, aged 6 months – 3 years, to the joys of making music with regular fun-packed half-hour classes with action songs, dancing, dressing up and instrument playing with live music led by experienced singer/guitarist David Fisher.
All the tunes are traditional, so parents and child-minders can join in with such classics as “The Wheels On The Bus”, “Old MacDonald Had A Farm”, etc. Now in its 15th successful year, to date, Little Acorns has welcomed more than 1500 local families.
Join a group at any time during a term and pay pro-rata. No hassle make-up sessions available. Groups are not separated into ages so siblings are not split up. Workshops are available during school term times and during the long Summer Holiday break.
Spring Term 2019: Wednesday Jan 9th – Wednesday March 27th 2019
(No classes during Half Term Week commencing Feb 18th)
Click here to download the Booking Form for the Spring Term
Please come for a FREE TRIAL SESSION!
Little Acorns Childrens’ Parties
Childrens’ parties last for 45 minutes and cost £100 for children up to 6 years old. You get a FREE Little Acorns CD as a present.
Guitar Lessons for Beginners are available for booking
- Quality guitar tuition in a relaxed atmosphere
- Lessons customised to fit each student’s needs
- Learn step by step at your own pace
- Scheduling is flexible! Regular slots available
- Group sessions for siblings and friends
David puts so much into these classes making them highly entertaining!
I am absolutely sure it has helped 100% in her speech development
A great time learning in a fun and encouraging environment
Little Acorns is the highlight of our week!
Above are a just a small sample of positive feedback we’ve had over the years. You can find plenty more real testimonials here.
What does a typical session look like?
The video below was shot during one of our regular baby and toddler classes and will give you an idea what to expect. Don’t forget you can come along any Tuesday or Wednesday for a free trial session. Please just give me a call or send me an email in advance so I have an idea of numbers for each class.
Who is David Fisher?
I am a published composer and singer/songwriter and busy music producer and run my own recording studio.
I started Little Acorns music classes for babies and toddlers after working for Blueberry Playsongs for over 6 years. It started as a student job and I found that I was really good at it (one of the few things I don’t feel a need to be falsely modest about) and enjoyed it so much that that it took over my life!
I’m a regular composer of music for Oxford University Press educational children’s courses, including working with extraordinarily successful children’s writer Julia Donaldson on Alphabet Songs for the “eSong Birds” Phonics DVD used by schools all over the UK. I have co-written hundreds of tunes for other OUP CD/books sold around the world for school national curriculums. One title, “Three in a Tree” received a British Council Award.
I also write musicals for schools published by Lazy Bee Scripts.
How do the different ages benefit from our toddler music classes?
Music is a good foundation for early years’ learning.
Your baby’s brain is full of billions of neurons, which, in the first year, form connections with other neurons, developing neural pathways. These strengthen further with continued sensory stimulation, such as music, dancing and interaction with others.
As growing children are exposed to this sensory-rich environment, they develop both gross-and-fine motor skills (dexterity/co-ordination) through instrument playing (percussion) and performing hand-actions to songs, allowing them to practice self-expression/communication and in turn, building on their confidence.
Through imitation and singing, children learn the sounds and meanings of words, aiding memory, and thus they begin to learn vocabulary. This accelerates their language acquisition and reading skills.
As your little ones interact with their parents/carers and other children in the class, they will develop social skills and make new friends, enhancing the fun!
By introducing your child to music, he or she may later want to learn to play an instrument, which according to studies, can improve academic skills (especially mathematical learning), as well as refine discipline and patience, and boost self-esteem.
In addition to the developmental benefits of music, it enhances our mood, reduces anxiety and stress, can even improve healing, but above all, it provides us with joy! What’s not to love?!
Focus on fun – why do kids learn by enjoying themselves?
My experience of education was that I learnt best when I was engaged by in fun, lighthearted atmosphere by an enthusiastic energetic teacher. Raising children is a serious business, of course, but nothing beats raising a smile and a giggle with a cheerful action song, or an enthusiastic group of people making comedy animals noises, scratching and hooting like monkeys, stomping around like elephants or snaking around a room as a human train. I like to think of it a focussed excitement on fun music and dance which helps improve motor skills, co-operation, concentration and language skills and strengthens the bonds between preschool children and their siblings, carers, nannies, mums, dads, and visiting grandparents.
There’s a lot of other local musical activities for babies classes, Monkey Music, Jo Jingles, Bea’s Baby Music and Tin Pan Annie to name a few. I don’t see us as being in competition – we are all encouraging the musical side of child development in different ways. Clients will gravitate towards a style of class that they feel comfortable with whether it’s pre-recorded musical backings or a live musical experience with a real musician. It’s probably best to sample us all before settling on one or even try a few terms of each for variety. You can’t provide a wide enough enjoyable experience for babies and toddlers as long as you don’t overwhelm them!
By structuring the sessions as weekly themes there is no concept of “academic progress” involved. Anyone should be able too come to any session and not feel they are missing anything. Each session stands alone and should have something for everyone. I try to encourage as much participation as possible from the older kids as well as the adults by asking questions about the featured pictures I post on the wall relevant to that week’s theme. Themes rotate over a three month cycle and include “The Farm”, “Space, “Jungle Animals”, “The Seaside”, “The Weather”, “Food”, “Pet Animals”, “Transport” as well as many others. There are also seasonal one-offs for Christmas, Easter, May Day, St Patrick’s Day and even Burns night. When I’m in the mood I even dress up from time to time in appropriate costumes – as a jungle explorer, spaceman, chef, pirate, rabbit, festive elf, etc.
There are two reasons that I mix all the age groups together, advertising my classes for babies AND toddlers:
Firstly it’s simply a practicality – family diaries are so full these days that segregating the classes by age groups only reduces the choice of days and times for clients.
Secondly I really think it makes for a better communal experience – the toddlers love to show off in front of the little ones, and the babies are fascinated by all the happy activity of their older peers and siblings that takes place all around them.