Time Management: Fit music into your Early Years setting

Making time for music when you've got a full schedule

Time Management How to fit music into your Early Years setting

This post is written by Melanie Cossins who is a specialist Early Years music teacher from Wakefield. She runs private classes for parents and children as well as sessions in nursery and pre-school settings. Melanie is also part of Think Cre8tive Group a new creative training initiative and believes music should be at the heart of children’s education. www.cossinsmusicschool.co.uk

If you work with children it can be hectic. The pressures put on Early Years settings are immense. Not only do you have to care and nurture children you also have to prove you are developing a huge amount of skills in a short space of time.

Maths and literacy are at the forefront of education in the UK at the moment. There is much emphasis on children being able to read and write much earlier than ever before. With this in mind creative subjects, like music, are often not used to their full potential and music is covered by singing songs about various topics.

Many people shy away from music because they feel they cannot sing or that they aren’t musical enough – finding time to learn and search for songs can be time-consuming.

So, how do you fit music into your Early Years setting?

  1. Keep it simple

Choosing simple songs is important. Young children have a limited vocal range so choosing something with only two or three notes is easier for children to hear, internalise and sing. Simple songs are also easy and quick for adults to learn too. Songs such as Down the road have simple melodies and you can also change the words to suit what you are doing with the children, this helps develop creativity. For example you could sing: “Wash your hands”, “Time for lunch”, “Let’s tidy up” this will help you fit more singing into your day.


  1. Singing Names

At the beginning of the day singing children’s names is a great way to get music into your day. Again singing on two notes only, children learn very quickly, building confidence in singing solo, learning to take turns and listen to each other. You can sing “hello” to anyone or anything!

  1. Rhymes are fantastic

Never forget the importance of rhymes in musical learning. They are full of rhythm patterns, phrasing and great for phonemic sounds. Jelly on a plate is simple, easy to remember and has great phonemic sounds. Rhymes can be used to explore words and sounds by using the same rhythm but changing the words. Grab a toy you have in your setting: a train….

  • The train is setting off
  • The train is setting off
  • Blow the whistle, blow the whistle
  • The train is setting off!

If you need less time planning try these three simple ideas and let me know how you get on!

Mike Gardner aka ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management and productivity specialists. As well as being regularly featured in both online and off-line media outlets around the world, he is the author of the best selling time management book, Business Owners: Your Family Misses You. He regularly speaks on topics that are congruent with his mission of helping small business owners, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to be incredibly productive, whilst still balancing their business and family commitments in a way that enables them to feel fulfilled and guilt-free. He is an avid Aston Villa fan, a Dad to Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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