Community Member Profile - Alya Meyer
Meet Mums & Co Accelerate Member Alya Meyer from Music Bee Studio.
Music Bee Studio
The Mums & Co community is a tribe of active problem solvers, go-getters and like-minded souls. We’ve learned so much over the years from hearing about our members’ journeys and sharing their stories about life as a woman in business with you!
We love to shine the spotlight on our Accelerate Members and their business. This week it's Alya Meyer of Music Bee Studio.
What does your typical day look like?
Hi all the mums out there. My name is Alya and my day is basically a typical day of a stay at home mum with 2 preschoolers (some preschool care on the side).
Normally my day starts with morning meditation while trying not to wake my 3yr and 4yr who are in my bed most mornings. Breakfast, Bluey, Daddy goes off to work and we are off for the day. Aston and Scarlett are at preschool 2 days a week.
Our best day is when we have a PLAN. We love variety in our day, but during COVID-19 we are happy with the principle of ‘One thing for you, one thing for me and one thing for the house’. We run a whiteboard with activities and times to help to structure the day. I find if children are involved in their own day making they have the control and hence the strength to resist the pantry.
Evenings are pretty standard, kids are off to bed at 8.30pm. Sometimes my mum from Ukraine will read them a book over video call, it is morning for her after all.
Now I get time to do my work till about 10pm.
Give us your best elevator pitch
Music Bee Studio offers interactive music classes for children 0 - 4 years old. We create an environment where families can enjoy their time with little ones while making music together, meeting local friends and learning about the difference music makes to the development of children.
What was your trigger to start your business?
The trigger was having my own family and recognising the need for this service in my area, Sydney, Kings Cross.
I started in a local Community Centre doing classes by donation. It was very funny running full classes while sharing space with some community centre oldies having their lunches. Soon enough everyone was singing and clapping together.
A tick for an intergenerational experience!
What is your USP?
Program I teach is called Kindermusik. My aim is to deliver an experience that attends to the ‘whole child’. This means that apart from singing and dancing I use music to introduce children, even the little tiny people, to different concepts and life skills. Some examples are: spatial and body awareness, social/emotional intelligence, baby hand signs, vocalisation/ pre-reading skills, being silly and making funny noises.
I introduce families in my classes to a variety of instruments - orchestral, therapeutic and percussion. We learn how to hold them and we make lots of noise.
What projects are coming up next?
Introduction of sound bath aspects into my classes. That is mainly to provide a moment of balance and relaxation to the overly exhausted parents.
Opening another location.
How do you maintain your motivation?
- I draw a lot of motivation from my customers. Knowing that my craft is appreciated and makes a difference to their day, week, future of their children motivates me and makes me happy.
- Fear of losing something that I love doing.
- Another big one is - I don’t want to do housework forever.
Singing and performing has always been a big passion of mine. Now, while I am not in full time work, it is my only time to turn my music from passion into business.
What has been one of your best business calls/decisions to date?
Conscious decision to only scale up to what I could sustain long term.
What is something about running your business that you wish you had been told sooner?
How important originality is in my line of work.
Have you ever pivoted your business? Tell us how or why?
My biggest change in the business was moving my studio online due to COVID-19 outbreak. I had to change my teaching model from me teaching to empowering parents and helping them to create this experience at home.
Like other small businesses, I lost things and I gained things. If not for this pivot I wouldn’t have rediscovered my brand.
What are your favourite business tools?
- Canva: online design tool
- Google Ads: it just works
- Acapella: video/audio layering app
- Facebook and Instagram: they are not fantastic but we are nowhere without them!
- Zoom and Wix: still working on it
- WeTeachMe: bookings and backend analytics
What would you like to see more of when it comes to helping women in small businesses succeed?
- Social Media sessions
- Mindfulness and how do busy people fit it in
- Tips and tricks from busy mums.
In one year’s time what do you think you will wish you had attempted today?
I wish to have Scaled now.
What is one facet of your field that you would like to see changed?
I wish that more people understood the value of music learning in early childhood. Everything else will follow!
Has there been a significant business mentor in your career?
Yes, there have been many. Some are from music education side, some are from business side
Are there any areas you’re seeking help for in your business?
Yes. How do I prepare to scale my business?
What’s your approach to dealing with the pressures of running your business?
I try not getting myself to feel the pressure of business, although It does happen. When it does I ask myself ‘ What am I doing and Why’. Somehow it brings me back to what is important.
What’s your approach on ‘the juggle’?
Always have a plan B. Don’t resist the change, it’s ok.
What is one of the most important piece of advice you would give to someone beginning their business? A couple of years into their business?
I would say ‘ Do it’. The regret is worse than a failure.
Could you share a time when you failed and what you learned?
During COVID-19 outbreak I had to move my studio online. When teaching young children online the aspect of screen time gets in the way. As a result I have lost almost 70% of my students.
We all have coping mechanisms however I have recently learnt that it is easier to deal with a negative emotion when I let it in. It is a healing experience in itself. It took only one evening of feeling broken. I spoke to a few people for support and next day I felt the clarity I needed to build a plan. It’s when they say ‘It’s all in your head’.
It’s not a breakdown, it’s a breakthrough. Sometimes it’s hard to see it though.
How would you describe your family life?
Fast. Although, we are rediscovering sitting still and watching the fire burn.
How would we find you spending your weekends?
My wonderful husband takes Aston and Scarlett on a day trip most Saturdays and I get to stay home working on my business and catch up on some projects.
What service or expertise could you offer our community?
Baby and toddler music classes. Voice singing lessons.
What mantra do you live by?
It’s all in the balance.
What’s the last book you read that you’d recommend to a friend?
That’s a hard one. I am not a social reader, sorry guys:
The Bush | Forged in Flames | Reflexes, Learning and Behaviour.
What podcasts do you listen to?
Not that exciting here either!
Squiz news, Creative Therapy, Music Therapy Chronics and alike.
What’s a service you can’t live without?
Google and Youtube.
What supportive networks are you a part of?
- Bigger Better Brains: Science behind what music does to your brain and why
- Orff schulwerk Association: particular approach of teaching music
- Kindermusik International: I teach Kindermusik program
- Some musicians’ networks
- Family networks
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