Embedding Music & Sound Exploration in Early Years settings

In 2023, we have had the privilege of collaborating with numerous stakeholders in Plymouth, facilitating two 12-week music residencies in early years settings: The Cabin Childcare Centres at Barn Park and the YMCA, Plymouth.

The first residency took place in April 2023, and the second happened in the first term of the 2023/2024 academic year. This initiative builds upon the success of previous residencies at Greenshoots Pre-School and Woodfields Primary School Nursery settings in 2021 and 2022.

Sound Explorers residencies unique in their comprehensive 360° approach to training early years educators, parents, and carers. Grounded in the belief that children are inherently musical, the programme emphasises that effective pedagogy and creative environments can unlock young children’s wellbeing and potential. The key to this approach lies in child-initiated, adult-responsive music-making and fostering an environment conducive to imaginative sound exploration.

Sound Explorers training is both thorough and diverse. Each residency incorporates a mix of observation, theory, modelling and reflection to enhance the confidence of those entrusted with the education and care of young children.

Activities supporting this approach includes musical improvisation, creating engaging and creative musical play spaces, encouraging children’s independence and agency in exploration, embodying their musical experiences, adapting familiar tunes to reflect children’s experiences, utilising a range of sensory resources, employing sound to aid transitions in nursery settings, experimenting with new rhymes, tunes, and rhythms while teaching day-to-day activities and musical storytelling.

The success of Sound Explorers training can be summarised by feedback from an early years setting manager, ‘music is now threaded through what we do and no longer just a basket of instruments in the corner of the room.’

We’re excited to have secured further funding to enable a further residency in 2024.

Read more about Sound Explorers here