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Mulberry Bush Music

‘Mummy, can we go to the music group where we sing along and play instruments with the lady who plays the piano today?’

When my boys were little, I threw myself into kids classes. We’re lucky that we have lots of different options for children here in Surrey, but how do we know which classes will go on to have a lasting effect on our little ones, as well as be somewhere fun for us both?

Music is well known to have a positive impact on a toddler’s sensory development*. Studies have shown that music can be a fun way of exploring and communicating, and bringing children together through music can help enhance their social skills. Whether that’s communicating with their parents or caregivers, or with other children, a group that enables this will enhance their learning and development, in a fun and friendly way.

Mulberry Bush Music is a toddler group with a difference, bringing together live piano music and play. There is no ipod and speaker here, and with toddler friendly instruments encouraging participation (and gross and fine motor skills), rhymes and interactive songs and stories, it’s all about encouraging children to interact through music and sound.

I first heard of the group through my Mum, who started asking to ‘borrow’ my eldest, Oscar, then 2, on Tuesday mornings! The 50 minute sessions end with a cup of tea and a playtime for the children, a chance for local mums and carers to meet and chat.

Led by the wonderful duo that are Julie Hardy and Sarah Pearson at Betchworth Memorial Hall (just off the A25 with easy parking) the children take part in acting out the rhymes and stories at their own pace. Julie and Sarah clearly adore their roles, and their warm nature gives to a lovely ambience to the group. It's perfect for little ones aged 18 months to school age, and a wonderful introduction to music. Starting with listening and interacting, they get even the shyest of children involved.

Each week has a different theme within a set session framework, from Transport to Toys, from Small Animals to Big Animals, from Weather to Time. Each has a series of songs, rhymes and an interactive story that brings the theme to life, encourages both parallel play and sharing.

So if you have pre-school children and are looking for a musical activity for your little ones, pop over to Mulberry Bush Music on Tuesday mornings at 9.30 at Betchworth Memorial Hall, Station Road, Betchworth RH3 7DF and join in the fun. Classes are pay-as-you-go at £6 per child, or £10 for two.

For more information, contact Julie on 07866164385 or Sarah on 07985958402.

With love, Rachel xx

* taken from

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