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MUSIC IN THE FRAMEworks Early Years Conference


MUSIC IN THE FRAMEworks! was the East Midlands Early Years Network Conference which was held at the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust in November 2013.

The event  brought together practitioners from all over the country to explore the focus of the day; “how to deliver music through all areas of learning and development”, with prominent National Early Years Music Educators, Sue Nicholls, Linda Bance, Hilary Miles and Dr Pat Beckley.

Sue Nicholls opened the day by highlighting the importance of supporting the ability of parents and carers to provide children with quality musical experiences at home. She raised the question, ‘How can we encourage an enduring and life-long interest and involvement in music?’ – a discussion that would form a theme of the day. She also shared videos including one with a 2 year old rapping; demonstrating music’s use for language development.

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In Sue’s workshop practitioners experienced songs and musical games and shared ideas on how these might be used in an Early Years setting. Sue also shared her collection of junk instruments, a fantastic tool for creating inventive and exciting music opportunities inexpensively and another way to help encourage families to continue making music at home with little expense.

An innovative session from Hilary Miles explored uses for technology in the classroom. Her workshop captured the attention of the practitioners, who shared ideas about how to use the range of apps demonstrated in the session, particularly their ability to introduce new sounds and interaction to activities.

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In her session, Linda Bance explained, “I hope that you will leave with the knowledge that music is a most powerful tool for learning and that you can broaden the amount of musical activity that you offer so that it becomes a natural part of each day.” Linda demonstrated how everyday objects could be used as creative props for music and learning including socks and teddy bears.

In the final workshop of the day Pat Beckley explored how music can make children healthier and help them to engage with the world around them and develop their social skills. She demonstrated this by using instruments from around the world, musical games, singing games, clapping games, chants and songs, and highlighted how these link to the Early Years curriculum.


East Midlands Early Years Network funded by Youth Music and the East Midlands Music Education Hubs.