Clare Seymour

January 31, 2020

Considering SEND learners within the Early Years’ music group setting…

Kids play with bright ribbons

Our songs have proved to be particularly popular with music teachers needing SEND resources that provide effective teaching for Early Years’ learning. This is probably because all our songs originated as seeds actually during our music sessions. 

Rather than having been developed from a top-down perspective (where the song has been randomly composed and then a learning plan has been created to go with it), our songs have been developed from a bottom-up perspective – the learning objectives have been sewn into the very fabric of each song.

The ideas to support teaching the objectives began as little musical fragments. These were often suggested by the children themselves while we were exploring a particular concept or action (such as representing the pulse with a strong arm movement). As a result, the learning objectives of the songs have become an integral part of the song itself. This, we believe, is why our songs work so well and why teachers enjoy using them. 

Let’s explain this just a little more with an example: 

In order to play instruments, to write, or to move smoothly in a coordinated way, we need to be able to cross our body’s midline effortlessly (more on this in a following blog). 

So we created some music to practise this one particular action in a fun way. Because the movement is wrapped up in a song, we can encourage the children to repeat it over and over again in a way that would not be possible without music (there are 32 repetitions in just one rendition of ‘Colours in a Rainbow’). 

Furthermore, the children learn to do it in a strictly rhythmical way by reflecting the pulse, which further develops both their musicality and their body’s synchronicity, alongside crossing the midline. No wonder teachers like our songs so much. They’re musical magic!

We have a series of blogs that will attempt to address some of the questions we have received during our presentations and workshops related to teaching SEND learners.