Monkey Music in West Essex
PUBLISHED: 10:42 09 January 2020
Kate Panayi, franchisee of Monkey Music, in Loughton, Buckhurst Hill, Woodford Green and South Woodford on the joy of music and play
Where do you live?
I live in South Woodford with my husband and two sons. We moved here before we had children because of my husband's work. But we were also drawn to it because of beautiful Epping Forest, as well as the easy access into town.
What did you do prior to Monkey Music?
I was a jobbing actress, but I also worked as a legal PA.I went there on a two day cover job when I finished drama school and left 13 years later!
How did you end up at Monkey Music?
My eldest son used to go to the classes which were run by the previous franchisee - he went with Nana while I was at work. When my younger son came along I tried to find out when the classes ran so I could take him but it has closed down. I found myself phoning and asking if that meant that the franchise was for sale. And the rest as they say...!
Tell us more about what Monkey Music does?
Monkey Music provides music classes for little ones in their pre-school years, so from 3 months to 4 years. We do singing, dancing and play instruments - and generally have a really fun-filled musical time together.
What's the most enjoyable aspect of your job?
Definitely the families we work with. Very few jobs are as positive an experience as teaching Monkey Music. People come because they want to spend time with their little ones, they want to share in the fun we create. Being part of that is really special.
When not working how do you relax?
I love listening to music, dancing and reading - as well as spending time with my friends and family.
What would be your perfect day?
To have a lie in, and a leisurely breakfast - preferably outside somewhere warm, I love the sunshine! I would do some reading and then go for a swim. I would meet a friend for lunch and then catch a matinee of a show in town. I would have supper with my family and we would snuggle up on the sofa together and watch a movie - something funny.
Who would be your dream dinner party guest?
I would love to meet Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Dame Judi Dench and Kylie - that would be some dinner party!
Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
I love Provender in Wanstead.
What's your desert island dish?
Probably curry - mmmm. Something like chicken dhansak.
Would you describe yourself as a good cook?
I'm a reasonable but I prefer to cook when I have time rather than being rushed like in the week.
What's your top tipple?
I'm tee-total so my favourite tipple is ice cold sparking water.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Do you have a secret celebrity crush?
Chris Hemsworth - but that's just common sense!
What's your biggest achievement to date?
Having my children - it is the best thing I have ever done and I love them to bits.
Where would you like to be in five years time?
I would like for me and my family to be healthy and happy - still doing a job which I love.