If You're an Early Years Practitioner, You Can Do Music!

If You're an Early Years Practitioner, You Can Do Music!

Do you doubt your own abilities?  Do you think that really good music times can only be delivered by a musician within the early years? Well, I’m here to tell you, you are wrong.  We can all give children a quality music time.

How? By gaining the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver it ourselves. 

There are 3 elements that make a great music experience: Performing, Composing and Listening. Don’t let those words put you off. I’m going to go through what each means in early years music. You're probably doing some of them already.



In the early years a child’s singing voice, like in other areas of their development, is just starting out.  They are not ready to sing many of the tricky nursery rhymes and song; that’s not to say they are not exposed to them.  The children need to be trying lots of songs that have very simple words and tunes.  Therefore if singing worries you this is good news as you should easily be able to sing these simple songs with the children.  e.g. teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around… here’s a link to  me singing the words and tune https://musicalabc.simplero.com/blog/2895-so-you-think-you-cant-sing 


Rhymes are great for developing rhythm, dynamics (loud and quiet), tempo (fast and slow) and they don’t require you to sing.  Easy, just say the rhyme with the element that you wish to develop. For example with Humpty Dumpty, I don’t ask the children to sing the rhyme we say it. On the 'All the kings horses…' we say it a faster tempo (speed).


Let the children play along to well known songs.  Teach the children how to hold the instruments and how to look after them. Also let them play with the instruments on their own within a music/performing area.  

I also talk about instruments below under composing.



Playing with vocal sounds.  It is easy to adapt songs so that there is an element of improvisation (making up as you go along).  One that I talk about lots is the song, 5 little men in a flying saucer.  When they fly away instead of asking the children to say whoosh, I ask them to create whatever sound they want as it flies away.


Let the children create sounds to go with stories, rhymes or when listening to recorded music. Let them explore.

Composing music is just playing with sound.  It's no different to letting them explore paint they just need to be given the environment to have a go.  If you haven’t already got a performing/music area this is a great place for the children to demonstrate and explore their own ideas.


Listening to each other is a great part of a music time.  Whether that be them listening to you perform, compose or talking about the music that they are going to listen to, or listening to the other children within the group.

The children need to listen to a wide genre of music; not limiting them to just listening to children’s CDs.  This can be done through various times throughout the day not just during a music time.  It could be that you let children listen to music as they arrive and leave your early years setting each day.  You may like to play music when it's time to tidy up.

During your music time, you can give the children the opportunity to express themselves by letting them move, draw, paint, construct, some may even tell you how it makes them fee whilst listening to music.

Most of all music experiences should be fun. 

If you are giving the children the opportunities to explore and express themselves, through the 3 elements I have mentioned above, then you are well on your way to delivering a good quality music experience.

If you would like to learn more, please take a look at my Early Years Music Ideas membership: https://www.musicintheearlyyears.com/early-years-music-ideas-2-to-5 

Happy music making! 



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