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Youth voice in the early years

It’s important to consider ‘youth voice’ in early years music-making. This can mean:

  • Observing carefully how young children engage and being responsive to their reactions.
  • Leaving space for child-led and spontaneous activities.
  • Consulting with other adults who know the children well, including parents and early years practitioners.

Want to know more about youth voice in the early years? These following resources will increase your understanding and help to get you started.


Youth Music Early Years Quality Framework

Youth Music’s quality framework contains a recommended set of criteria to promote high quality, inclusive music-making sessions. This resource provides additional advice and guidance for using the framework in early years settings.

Download the Youth Music Quality Framework (pdf)

Download the Youth Music Quality Framework (Word)


Music development matters

This comprehensive resource helps parents and practitioners to understand and support the musical development of young children. The resource, videos and reflection questions will help you to observe what is happening and respond in a child-centred way.

Go to Music Development Matters


Tune into listening

This action research project looked at how to use recorded music well in early years settings. The resulting resource offers a range of tips and includes videos and observations to help you ‘tune in’ to observing young children.

Visit the Tune into Listening resource hub


Engaging ‘hard to reach’ parents in early years music-making

This Youth Music research provides good practice recommendations to engage families in Early Years music.

Read the report summary.


Access and Inclusion - starting young

This empower hour session provides a range of practical ways to engage with young children in an inclusive way.

Read the summary and watch video.

Two toddlers playing with their friend outside.
Image from Music Development Matters - Nursery World