Last month toy distributor Marbel donated 100 vouchers for early years musical instruments to Youth Music Network members. All we asked in return was that you provided us with a top tip, piece of advice or link to a useful article on the web about music-making with early years children (under 5s). Here are some of the most useful resources for music making our users found all over the internet.
Many of you said that you used websites to learn new songs and remind yourselves of old favourites. Here are some of your singing suggestions:
"If you are looking for a song to tie in with a particular theme then Everything Preschool is useful. Just click on the link to the theme you need and you can find lots of songs and activities to fit!"
"I'm always on the lookout for new songs as kids just love singing. I've found Bus Songs useful, both for discovering new songs and for finding extra verses to the songs they already know."
"I found this resource called Singing Breakfast Clubs fantastic in engaging children in making music. There's a focus on singing but also with actions such as clapping, stamping and using simple instruments for the rhythm etc. I've used it with various age groups but it worked really well with little ones. There's also a link on the webpage to the Sing Up website."
"Piccolo Music has monthly ideas for playful ways of singing with babies and toddlers, with words, actions, percussion play ideas and often free MP3 downloads of songs loved by children. They have 12 years experience of working in early years music and training adults working in the sector and are well known for their original and re-worked traditional songs, winning awards for their range of CDs for children. Hundreds of songs (all on iTunes too) to revive flagging repertoire!"
James from London suggested this Sing into Reading Workshop resource.
Several people suggested resources which provide great free fun for early years groups:
"Primary Games Arena is great: we love the Gruffalo game! A great starting point to create new soundscapes using favourite stories, and then to take turns at 'conducting' your own Gruffalo orchestra with group members making the sounds using voices, bodies and instruments.
"Persil presents Get Messy with Music. A great link here for making your own messy instruments!" Jamie, Huddersfield
"I like using the Sound Collector poem from Free Resources for Early Learning. Poems like this get the children's imaginations going and I encourage responses with vocal sounds: purring/ticking/whistling often accompanied with movement.Great for 4-5 year olds."
"Pre-school Music Lesson Plans provides lots of reasoning behind teaching music early and useful link articles."
Clair from London recommended this Progressive Early Childhood Education blog with activity suggestions, Emma from Newquay liked these Early Childhood News tips, and Melissa from Daventry recommended this Family Education blog.
You're a knowledgeable lot. Some of the Youth Music Network members suggested resources that they've created themselves!
"I have built this resource website for the families, practitioners and music leaders I have worked with on the More Tuneful Tots & Bouncin' Bairns and Sing and Play projects. It is full of all of the songs we have enjoyed together, as well as video clips and information about what we have been up to, and why singing and music-making is so beneficial in the early years. Enjoy!"
Kate, Whitley Bay
Becky from Huddersfield found Make Some Noise's website useful.
David from London recommended Early Arts.
Frances from Leeds says that "Music for Starters have some very useful autumn taster days as an intro to their Early Intervention music course and others."
Don't forget to add your own suggestions in the comment box below.