Early Years Music Making

  • by Pippa Cann

    Tuesday, 10 December, 2013 - 17:07

I thought members of this group may be interested in Plymouth Music Zone's video about the 'Tiny Tunes' project. We are interested to hear how other music organisations are finding the importance of engagement of parents and staff in Early Years settings to the success and sustainability of those projects. We certainly found it to be an indicator of longer term viability.

Plymouth Music Zone delivers an extensive music programme with the under 5s across the city - from babies to toddlers - in all kinds of places like nurseries, children's centres, primary schools and in our multi-sensory room. These 'Tiny Tunes' sessions are being shown to have a profound impact on young children, especially SEN/disabled children and those with English as a second language.

This film was created to show the kind of best practice being developed by PMZ in this area. It was produced by Fiona Evans. This strand of our work was funded by the National Foundation for Youth Music as well as the Big Lottery and other smaller funders. It is also supported by schools and the parents themselves.


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Kate_MB's picture

This is a great video, thanks for sharing it.

I find that staff engagement is crucial to longevity. I totally agree that as a music leader, it's best to work alongside and in support of existing provision where possible to have the best impact. I do sometimes find it can be beneficial to set up specific music groups too, as I can see you have done a swell.

Have you seen the Youth Music research about engaging 'hard to reach' families? That might feed well into discussions about working with families?

It's here:


I loved seeing the parental engagement with the tiny tots in the multi-sensory room.

What do others think?

Thanks again,

Pippa Cann's picture

Really pleased you liked the video.

We found the research really reflects the work we do on the ground with parents and young children.


Kate_MB's picture

That's good to know. Were you involved in any of the research?

Pippa Cann's picture

Not directly. But read it with interest as it so closely reflects our experiences.

Valerie's picture

Thank you for sharing this! Really interesting!
It is great how you are allowing the children to explore sound, alongside their other senses.
The music is great too! Are you encouraging the families that are attending 'Tiny Tunes' to use the music at home as well? If so, what are you offering to support their confidence to continue the music-making home? And are you bringing music the children know from home into the sessions too? I'd be keen to find out more!

Pippa Cann's picture

Really glad you like the video.
The parents tell us they sing the songs from the sessions at home with the children. We have the 'Zoobiedoo' resource as well, which is a multi-sensory music, singing and activity resource pack which some of the parents have bought to take home and use. We created this in conjunction with children and staff from 5 Special Schools in Plymouth - several of which use this in school.
If you're interested, you can see more about Zoobiedoo here. http://www.plymouthmusiczone.org.uk/shop All proceeds from the sale of the packs go directly back to provision.
For many parents, though, simply having practised interacting with music at the sessions gives them the confidence to use this as play at home.

The children can choose the songs in the sessions (developing skills of making choices). We add songs from 'home' to the choices available. It's a lovely opportunity for children to share and contribute.

Vanessa Webb's picture

I enjoyed the video too.Here at Kindermusik we totally support the involvement of parents with their children both in class and at home. We offer home materials and have recently gone digital meaning the resources ( music, stories and activities) are more affordable and easily accessible at home on the pc or on a smartphone, tablet etc