This page can take a while to load as there are so many videos, give it a minute and it will all appear as if by magic…….

Playing with the djembe (pronounced ‘gem-bay’) drum outside in the sunshine (June 2013)

Two boys explore the drum together. The sound comes out of the hole at the bottom which one of them is looking up. Sometimes you can even feel the ‘woosh’ of air on your face if you get really close, so it becomes a multi-sensory experience.

The djembe is a West African drum. This particular djembe is a larger, professional quality adult drum, which people do not usually associate with younger children. I love to use it in the early years, as in my experience, younger children know quality when they see it, so gravitate towards this and explore it for ages. As you can play this drum by sitting top of it, you can then feel the vibrations and start to understand how sound is made too.  We will be buying a drum just like this one for Battle Hill nursery so that the children can continue to play it when I am no longer there. This one is on loan from myself until then and I am delighted to see it being used so well. (Kate, the music lady)


Exploring the djembe (pronounced ‘gem-bay’) drum (March 2013)

This girl is a great singer, and you can see she is enjoying singing and drumming whilst keeping a careful eye on her egg shaker, which needs to be in just the right place before she can let go and play.  Can you spot the other child who sings Twinkle twinkle little star in this clip?


Twinkle twinkle little star with Makaton signing

This video was taken way back in term one of our music project, as you can tell from how young your children are here! These children are now all in Bluebells room, which means they are now two or three years old. Time flies!

One of the things we are working on in our music project, is learning Makaton and using this with our singing. Makaton is a great communication tool when working in the early years. Find out more about it here.  I consciously sing slower when working with younger children, as this gives their developing brains more time and space to process the information in a song. I always try to repeat songs two or three times too, to give the children the best possible opportunities to join in.  Can you see the little boy on the left joining in with our actions and gestures? I often notice that the children will join in with their bodies through gesture or movement before they start to sing or vocalise. They will be making up their own songs and singing to themselves though. Do you notice this when they are at home with you?

Wind the bobbin up

This video gives you a little flavour of what sorts of things are happening as part of our music project.
This is a traditional nursery rhyme. Do you know it? Watch out for how the children join in with their bodies and gestures before they vocalise.


Children’s responses to the flute

Look at how the children in Daffodils room respond to hearing the flute.  You will notice they are quite a bit younger, this was right back at the beginning of our music project in the September- December term last year!


Moving in response to the flute

The children’s dancing is so brilliant it put me off my flute playing, so sorry for the mistakes in this clip! I was having so much fun watching them moving, I wasn’t quite giving my flute playing my 100% attention. I think I may also have been bopping about, which is never conducive to my best playing, ha ha ha!

Movement play is  a big part of our music project. As Jabadao rightly state, “movement is our first language and our body is our first home”. This ethos runs through the music project, and we never expect children to ‘sit smartly’ as it’s impossible for their tiny bodies. It’s been great watching how the children choose to move in response to live music.


More Tuneful Boy May 2013

Here are some video observations of one little boy during song time.  He seems to listen with his whole body in this first clip.  You can see through his use of gesture that he understands the song and what is coming next each time. Just goes to show that a child does not have to be singing to show us they are engaged with a song, it is often the gesture and body language that comes first.  Careful observation is a big part of our work on the music project. I was not even in the building on this particular day which makes these clips even more valuable!

Enjoy! Posted by Kate.

One boy’s response to Twinkle, twinkle, little star

One boy’s response to Miss Polly had a dolly

Watch out for how precisely he writes on the ‘paper for a pill’ using his finger, he knows exactly when this is coming in the song. Amazing!

One boy’s response to Incy wincy spider

This clip starts after the group have sung this together once and are clapping.  You will see that before the adults start the singing again, the little boy is having a go himself, shaking his hands and singing. What a star!

More Tuneful staff March 20th 2013

I had to upload this one to show you how committed the staff are to the music project in Battle Hill nursery.

Here is one of the early years practitioners showing us how hard she has been practicing on her ukulele. Some of the staff have been inspired to go and buy ukuleles and have ukulele lessons via the More Tuneful Tots & Bouncin’ Bairns music project.  A few practitioners already had ukuleles at home, as they had bought them for their children.

I have taught one lesson so far, so this lady has learned two chords: C7 and F.  For many nursery rhymes and simple songs you only need to know two or three chords, and it gives  a real lift and is such a happy sound! The ukulele is also a great sized instruments for younger children to explore and play. If you are reading this and have a ukulele in your house, or would like to learn to play one, why not consider joining us for our next lesson? We’d love to see some parents/carers there! Get in touch via contact info at the bottom of the page.

Every time I watch this video I want to clap at the end of it!

Kate (your friendly music lady)

Early years practitioner plays the ukulele whilst we sing the wheels on the bus


More Tuneful Tots & Bouncin’ Bairns March 2013

We are doing our best to get as much video from the music project in Battle Hill Nursery onto this website as soon as we can. Thanks to all of the parents and carers for filling in the consent forms for us.  I am sure you can imagine it takes a lot of  time to sort through through video, and we have to be fastidious in our checking of images and footage to make sure that no children appear in shot who we don’t have permissions for!

Here are two snippets from Bluebells room to get us started…..

Hello song in Bluebells room 

The ‘hello song‘ with our Makaton signing has been a firm favourite throughout the nursery. Here are the children in Bluebells (2-3 yr olds) joining in and enjoying hearing their names in the song.  This song helps the children to learn about greeting other people, which is an important social skill. It helps me to remember all of the children’s names as otherwise I really struggle! I love to see the children’s reactions to hearing their name sung to them. It is affirming and increases self-esteem and self-confidence. (Click the settings wheel to watch in 720 HD quality)


The tune is ‘skip to my lou’, which is a great tune to adapt and sing about anything you like! Here is is for you to have a listen to so you can have a go at home with your little one:


Download this song to your computer (‘right-click’ and choose ‘save file/link as’)


Hello *everyone, how are you? x 3
How are you today?

*insert your child’s name here

Have a go, here is the Makaton Finger spelling chart so you can finger sign the first letter of your child’s name.

Relaxation with the flute in Bluebells room

Sleep and rest are as important as food in a child’s early years, so we have been using music to help the children to rest their bodies and minds.  The children were invited to come and lie down to rest and relax as I played the flute for them.  We had been dancing and playing physical games before this activity. We put some voiles (see-through organza cloths) down for those who wanted to join in.The children had their shoes and socks off as it is better for their physical development to enjoy movement play in bare feet. You will see we start off with four children and end up with two. We encourage the children to choose whether or not to join in, and we are happy to see them dipping in and out. You can see the children really relaxing in this clip as I play some soothing flute music for them. You do have to turn your head to the side at one point to see this video, sorry about that, we are just learning how to use the cameras!

One of the staff members told me that this activity was “better than Kalms” (herbal remedy for stress) and it really relaxed the adults as much as the children. Music to my ears!




Tuneful Tots and Bouncin’ Bairns 2011-2012

Want to see what we have been up to in Howdon Children’s Centre, Wallsend Crèche and Hexham stay and play? Check out these videos to see for yourself how much the children love music and movement.

Listen to this little’s boy brilliant singing in the Daisy Room at Howdon Children’s Centre. Notice the speed and pitch he sings at and how he uses hs body to propel him through. Brilliant!




Hexham stay and play song-time at Hexham Abbey in December 2011. Sorry it is a bit dark! Part of Sing and Play.

Kate playing the flute for families arriving at Hexham Abbey.


Playing with the lycra! Peekaboo! At Wallsend creche in November 2011. 


Singing and dancing with the scrunchy at Wallsend crèche with Kate in November 2011.

Here is an early clip from April of this year at Wallsend crèche.  This little girl asked me to sing this song over and over with a wind up toy which played the music. I must have sang it at least ten times, and she slowly starts to join in, as you can see here in this clip.

Lisa demonstrating excellent practice in music-making and early years childcare at Wallsend crèche.

Lisa singing with the boys in Wallsend crèche. I love hearing and seeing them all joining in with such joy.


 Beautiful solo singing in Wallsend crèche.

Dancing and laughing with the scrunchy at Wallsend stay and play on Tuesday 11th October 2011

Playing instruments at Wallsend crèche.

Little boy plays the ukulele for more than five minutes on his own at Wallsend crèche. Who says small children can not sit and focus?

Playing the djembe in Howdon crèche.

Dancing with the scrunchy at Howdon stay and play

Hiding under the parachute at Howdon stay and play