Our Story

Happy Beat is a culmination of passion, experience and a love of children and music. Developed and founded in 2012 by Catherine Austen, Happy Beat has been around for many joyful years, expanding through nursery schools and primary schools in Johannesburg. The current director, Lyla Faye, aims to keep up with the rhythm and reach more and more children with Happy Beat.

The Teachers

Lyla Faye Hurdus, Teacher and Owner

Lyla Faye is performing artist and songwriter, blessed to have worked with many well-known South African artists, musicians and producers over the years (starting in childhood, singing children’s vocals on Ed Jordan’s “Beautiful Creatures” albums).

In addition to her career as a singer, she has years of experience as a vocal coach to children and adults of almost all ages. Lyla finds great purpose in sharing her gift for music with others and believes that Happy Beat is a wonderful way for children to find self-expression while developing various life skills.

Chloe Pires, Teacher

With a heart full of love for children, Chloe has taken every opportunity to work with children and share her passion. She has a natural, empathetic way, and it is amazing seeing children leaving her classes with more self-confidence and happy, full hearts. Chloe has experience in au pairing and teaching in nursery schools, she also teaches horse riding from children right through to adults. Chloe’s love for learning and children is such an inspiration and embodies what Happy Beat is all about.

Happy Beat Services

  • Classes are held once a week and are thirty minutes long.
  • Personal Feedback is given twice a year.
  • Certificates are awarded at the end of the year.
  • Open classes are offered twice a year for parents to come and observe.
  • Children’s Birthday Parties


  • Children become more confident in themselves by expressing themselves through singing.
  • Children are encouraged to use their voices in different ways. This is important for developing pitch and tone.
  • Learning songs helps children to improve their memory.
  • Singing is an uplifting activity.
  • Singing encourages children to be a part of a group and is a fun social activity.

Music Theory

  • Children are introduced to music theory in a fun and interactive way.
  • Children learn to read music and play along with percussion instruments and backing music.
  • Each child is encouraged to take theory notes home and practice with their families.
  • Children read and play their own notes for the group. This also builds their confidence in themselves and their abilities.


  • Dramatisation helps children to identify their emotions and builds their self confidence, by acting out a character or pretending to be different creatures or even in expressing their own stories.
  • Children are encouraged to be creative and imaginative.

Happy Beat Classes Involve

  • Music appreciation
  • Movement to music
  • Djembe drumming
  • Learning to play a variety of percussion instruments
  • Music theory
  • Singing
  • Active Listening
  • Dramatisation
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Integration of left and right brain
  • Memory
  • Observation skills
  • Body awareness and self awareness

Music Appreciation and Active Listening

  • All kinds of music is used in the classes.
  • Children learn to identify sounds in the music.
  • Children develop an appreciation for music.
  • Learning to listen is a skill which is emphasized in the lessons.
  • Learning to hear the emotions in music.

Movement to Music

  • Rhythmic movement and free dance encourage self expression.
  • Children are able to interpret what they hear and feel with their bodies.
  • Children develop an understanding of their bodies and to move in certain ways, for example, crossing the midline.
  • Spatial awareness, they learn to perceive where they are in relation to the space around them.
  • Muscle development, they gain flexibility and core strength through a series of fun activities and exercises.

Djembe Drumming

  • Children learn about the drum and how to play it.
  • Children create their own rhythms and are able to express themselves individually.
  • Children learn to play rhythmically in a group.
  • Playing in a group encourages self expression and self confidence.
  • Drumming stimulates both sides of the brain and is an excellent activity for whole brain development.
  • Drumming has been found to be beneficial for improved co-ordination and memory.
  • Drumming is a stress reliever and is such fun.
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