Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Sine (pronounced Sheena) Munro and I run West Edinburgh Sing and Sign. I am also a mummy to Reuben (3) and Sarah (16 months) and they keep me very busy in-between classes. We live in Edinburgh and both my children are Sing and Sign veterans. We use baby signing as our everyday means of communication. Sarah is currently enjoying learning and using sign language and she can tell me all sorts of things that she otherwise couldn’t say. Although Reuben is now using words instead of signs, he loves teaching his sister all his favourite signs. It really has been a wonderfully rewarding concept for our family to embrace.
Q2: Is it a national franchise or your own concept? How did it come about?
Sing and Sign is an award-winning national programme, developed by musician Sasha Felix and speech and language experts. Sasha developed a baby signing system taught through music when her own little girl was struggling to communicate and in January 2001 she launched the UKs first baby signing programme of classes. Since then it has continued to grow and help thousands of babies and their families with early communication. Since 2001, baby signing has seen a huge surge in popularity, backed by groundbreaking research into language and brain development in babies. I own the franchise for West Edinburgh.
Q3: Describe a typical Sing & Sign class
Sing and Sign is all about teaching the grown-ups how to use baby signing that they can practice at home while entertaining the babies with fun music, songs, rhymes and surprises!
There are 3 distinct programmes for different age groups: Sing and Sign Babes for 0-6 months, Stage 1 for approx. 6-14 months and Stage 2 for approx 12 – 28 Months. Each programme is designed specifically for the developmental needs of the child. The introductory session at TurtleDove Play Cafe is a special class aimed at babies from about 3 months to 18 months and will give the grown-ups a flavour of what Sing and Sign is all about, as well as learning some really useful basic signs!
Children love songs with actions and this is the basis for the classes. Each interactive class has a mixture of familiar and new songs/rhymes, musical instruments and a variety of props for babies to play with. Through the songs. we teach the signs (actions) that the caregivers can use to communicate with their babies at home in everyday situations, like changing nappies, feeding, playing, out and about and bedtime. At every session a special friend, Jessie Cat pops up to say hello to the babies. We explore a bag of toys and sing songs about what we find.
The classes are relaxed and fun and numbers are always limited to ensure a personal experience for everyone. We might even sing a song about your baby! You do not need to be a good singer to join in. Your baby thinks your voice is the most wonderful sound in the world and will enjoy hearing you sing in tune or otherwise.
Q4: How long have you run Sign & Sign?
West Edinburgh Sing and Sign is a brand new franchise and I started leading classes in April this year. Being passionate about baby signing and in particular Sing and Sign, on return from maternity leave after Christmas I decided to give up my office job and start my own business teaching Sing and Sign. It is the best decision I ever made as already I have met so many lovely families and teaching something I strongly believe in is so rewarding.
Q5: Why did you choose TurtleDove for a new class?
My children and I are regular visitors at TurtleDove and we think it is such a fantastic place. My children love the play equipment and I love the coffee and tasty food (the quesadillas are my favourite!). We’ve always felt very welcome at the play cafe and think it is the perfect venue for holding fun classes for little ones. It also means that after the class Mums and Dads can refuel while their babies feed and play.
Come along to TurtleDove Play Cafe on 23rd May for an introduction to West Edinburgh Sing & Sign. For just £7.00 per child (4 – 18 months) you can have a 45-minute session AND then stay and play in our cafe for as long as you like!
Limited spaces and booking is essential https://www.bookmyclass.co.uk/singandsign/?FID=297
For more information, please contact class leader Sine Munro: [email protected]