Early years musical framework and resources launch

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A new national programme aims to support children’s musical development in the early years.

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Professor Adam Ockelford: '‘Music is something that we can all do and it’s so important for a young child’s development.'

Set up by Professor Adam Ockelford from the University of Roehampton, Sounds of Intent in the Early Years (SoI-EY) combines research and practice to support early years practitioners working with children from birth to seven, with a musical developmental framework and resources.

Starting this month, a series of nine regional events across the UK will take place in the programme’s first year, aimed at increasing awareness and leading development at a local level. The next one will be held in Manchester, hosted by youth organisation Brighter Sound on 15 October.

The three-year programme is funded by a £177,000 grant from the National Foundation for Youth Music, secured earlier this year by Professor Ockelford’s charity Soundabout.

Professor Ockelford, director of the applied music research centre at the University of Roehampton, said, ‘Music is something that we can all do and it’s so important for a young child’s development. It’s an essential part of the multisensory mix children need to help them grow and meet their full potential through education, social skills, speech and many other developmental functions.

‘Very young children taking part in vocal play and music with adults can benefit extensively through grasping language and to appreciating the feelings of others.’

During the second and third years of the programme, 90 information and training sessions will be held across the UK, as well as a series of ten-week music projects with children and parents.

The research phase of the project has been carried out with University College London’s Institute of Education and Eastwood Nursery School Centre for Children and Families in Roehampton.

The programme is fully inclusive of all children, irrespective of their abilities, needs, preferences and cultural backgrounds.

There is no cost to attend the sessions or to use the framework, which is available online.

Read our exclusive feature by Professor Adam Ockelford and Angela Voyajolu on Sounds of Intent in Nursery World's next issue, out on 19 October.

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