An Early Years Music project to develop more music making in Dorset with children aged 3 to 5 years. Five training session with expert leaders in a range of Early Years music making techniques were delivered to teachers and Early Years staff across Dorset. Part two comprised 6 twelve week residencies with a Music Leader working with two partnered settings; a nursery or pre-school setting together with a Reception class.
Schools: Brackenbury Infant and Nursery school, St George’s Primary school, Little Dragons nursery, Haylands Nursery, Southwell Primary school, Southwell Nursery, St Jame’s First school, Alderholt, Sunbeams Nursery, Cranborne First school, Cranborne Nursery, Shaftesbury Primary school, Shaftesbury Children’s Centre.
Artists / music leaders: Nikki Fryer and Pia Kruithof
Specialist support: Christine Page, Jan Keen, Jane Joy, Dorset Music Service
Children explored a range of music including world music, they also learnt new songs and musical games, used percussion instruments and shared their experiences with parents, carers and siblings at the end of the residencies. Training was delivered to Early Years staff in conjunction with Sure Start.
North Dorset and Portland, Dorset. Rurally isolated settings were targeted.
Autumn term 2007- Summer term 2008
149 workshops and training sessions took place with 362 children aged 2 to 5 years participating
2 - 5 year olds
This project sought to link Reception classes, nurseries, pre-schools and a Children’s Centre with Music Leaders in a residency. The project was for children in the 3 to 5 age range, and celebrated the transition from pre-school to Reception. The aims were:
To provide each participating venue with an experienced Music Leader who visited once a week for 12 weeks leading practical sessions with the children and the staff
To engage early years children in participatory and creative, fun music making activities with aspects of multi-cultural music
To enable the Music Leaders to work with a “trainee”, a person connected with the venues with some music making skills who was trained for leadership of music making activity after the Music Leaders left
To provide a d.v.d. of the project to all the participating venues as a lasting evaluation record and to celebrate their participation
To provide percussion instruments as a lasting resource for each venue taking part
To link each Reception class taking part with a neighbouring pre-school or nursery venue for the final two weeks of the project culminating in a celebratory music event open to parents and carers, with all the children from both venues in each partnership
The impact of this project was documented through feedback from all staff involved, the two Music Leaders and through a dvd documenting children taking part in the residencies. Having a dedicated staff Trainee attached to each Early Years setting worked very well to help sustain the work the Music Leaders instigated.
Two Trainees are now leading music work with other year groups within the schools and one Music Leader is now employed to run a choir and music sessions with children across the Infant school and beyond into the neighbouring Junior school.
DepARTure now has an ongoing relationship with the Music Service in Dorset and a commitment to continue work for the Early Years age range.
DepARTure is publishing a document containing artist-led workshops for Early Years settings to help promote partnerships with professional artists in the Early Years sector in Dorset.
One Music Leader from the project has successfully fundraised, supported by DepARTure for a new project to take children from Portland on a music exchange visit to a school with predominantly Somali children in Bristol.
“I learnt something new after every session. I learnt to read some music, how to play some musical instruments and sing a lot more. I thought music would be hard to do but it’s not and the children love doing it and I have lots of ideas now” – Lead Trainee, North Dorset Children’s Centre.
“I was very impressed at the amount of advisory support I received...I picked up valuable training which led me to a job opportunity that I would not have had the confidence to apply for before. The Music Learning Live conference 2008 was a life changing experience!” - Music Leader for the Portland residencies, Nikki Fryer.
Continued partnership work with Dorset Sure Start to deliver creative training to staff.
Distribution and promotion of dedicated Early Years portfolio to all Early Years settings annually, including Dorset RFOs provision within portfolio.
Continued participation on the southwest ‘artstart’ forum to help share good practice within Early Years arts.