Monday, 1 April 2013

Signing Sandy makes his TV debut!

I have just opened an e-mail to confirm what I have been hoping would materialise for months. Sign2Music recently filmed a television pilot episode featuring Signing Sandy and Deirdre. This pilot was presented to a group who loved it and it will be shown to N Ireland audiences at the end of the year. If favourably received, we will be asked to make our first TV series!

Woohoo!! I will let you know when the first episode is airing. Hope you all tune in!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Quality matters!

Most of you know that Sign2Music have won a number of Awards, some voted for by parents and others selected by experts. We are very proud of these Awards as they reflect the emphasis we place on providing a quality service.
I have been thinking recently about how little most people know about how much is involved in preparing for our sessions. Of course we do not simply throw props in a bag and 'wing it'! No, of course we are always well prepared, so we can ensure our sessions are as good as they could possibly be!

In the early days of setting up Sign2Music sleep was an unknown phenomenon to me. I was so committed to developing quality programmes and, being such a perfectionist, spent every available hour researching and preparing. I still work long hours and commit 110% to everything I do.

I spent most of tonight (about 5 hours) getting ready for a 45 min class in a nursery tomorrow. I am covering a topic I haven't done before, so even before tonight I have been researching the topic, writing new songs and speaking to the amazing friends I have who share their ideas with me. Setting up a new playlist and searching for backing tracks alone took up a number of hours. I then had to print out and laminate the resources I need for the topic. Then I had to pack my back with all the props needed and pack the car.

It is not unusual for me to spend this time preparing for a session. Even though I have got my preparation time reduced significantly, the night before my classes is still reserved for getting ready for my classes, checking song lists, packing the bag, preparing snacks and refreshments, etc. I have that many bags that even packing the car takes a while! When it comes to nursery training, teacher training or presentations at conferences, preparation time can be much much longer.

You may wonder if I spend too much time preparing because I am rubbish at what I do or wonder at my business sense. However, the reason I, and the other Sign2Music teachers, spend so much time ensuring we are well prepared is because the end result actually matters to us!

Sign2Music has a strong value base. We have a set of core values. One of our key values is Quality. Our values state:

" We are committed to delivering quality programmes that we can be proud of. We genuinely care about the views of service users think and will endeavour to gain their views about our services. We carefully select our teachers to ensure that only those with appropriate skills, experience and values join us."

So if you are wondering why Sign2Music differs from a lot of other children's programmes and why our programmes are value for money, this is why. We really care about what you think. We really want our programmes to make a difference and we really want our teachers to be the best!

Quality really does matter in Sign2Music!