With almost 20 years’ experience working in primary and early childhood education, specialising in music and movement, Abbey Mackenzie is passionate about sharing the potential for growth and development in this area. She set out to share her knowledge and simple tools with parents, so they can immerse their children in music and movement in everyday moments. Musicment is music and movement education for parents and educators, providing fun, simple activities for children aged 0-5 years that feed their mind, body and soul, while creating wonderful moments along the way. Here, she talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about the inspiration behind Musicment and her business journey so far.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
All children love music. What many parents are not aware of is just how much a child can grow and develop from moving to music. I have spent almost 20 years teaching in the Primary School and Early Childhood sector specialising in music and movement, (movement meaning anything from dance, yoga, physical active play, and fine motor skills). I still get a buzz from seeing children ‘light up’ when immersed in a world of music that is set to their age and stage of development.
I have always wanted to share my knowledge and give parents simple tools to immerse their child in music and movement in everyday moments. Creating fun and laughter and feeding their mind, body and soul along the way, as well as giving parents a sense of awareness of why their child does what they do and how they can support each little stage. It always feeds a parent’s curiosity about their child and relieves the sense of groundhog day and ‘mum guilt’ that they are not doing enough, or any sense of frustration they may have with their child.
A discovery course on an app seemed like the best way to reach busy mums who care but are often time and energy poor. Mums don’t have whole chunks of time; they have snippets of time at best. The Discovery course involves snippets of knowledge and activities parents can do instantly with their child from aged 0 -5 years. They see the results instantly. They can access the app anytime anywhere, allowing them to be fully engaged when it suits them.
How did you start out in the beginning?
In the beginning I trained as a Primary school teacher, specialising in music and teaching children with special learning needs. Music was always part of my everyday teaching. After travelling the world on my O.E. I decided to set up a Music and Performing Arts Preschool. The programme was designed to allow children to develop all their physical milestones, so they were ready to be readers and writers when they reached school age. Did you know a child’s balance system needs to be completely developed so they can sit still and listen to instruction? They develop their balance through specific movements.
We became an affiliated preschool with Gill Connell’s Smart Steps programme and wove this into our music and movement sessions and everyday teaching along with the Carl Orff Approach of teaching music and dance. The results were amazing! Children love to learn and music and movement inspired creativity, curiosity and self-confidence within the children and they flourished.
What Challenges have you overcome?
Setting up an online Music School and bringing my knowledge and passion into the home has always been a dream of mine. However, to do this I have had to embrace the digital world and overcome many fears. Filming yourself to deliver snippets of valuable knowledge and demonstrate fun movement songs was very scary. But it was a fear I had to overcome in order to share my passion and knowledge. Because I know how much of a difference it can make to a child’s world and to a parent’s everyday mindset and energy levels.