Links to Early Years Music Resources

Here are some resources to help plan and deliver music sessions for Early Years (0-5 years old) and young children. The main source for these has been the Youth Music Network – a great site for music educators to interact and share practice. For those interested in early years work, Youth Music’s ‘Early Years Music Making’ discussion group has lots of blogs worth reading. It may be worth joining so you can get notifications of new blogs, participate and ask questions.

Early Years Music Education Research/Survey You can take part in an ongoing international research programme asking early years [0-4] music education program directors, teachers, facilitators, administrators, clinical practitioners and researchers about their practice.


Top Early Years tips from Youth Music Network members – includes tried-and-tested practical tips, songs members enjoyed singing with under 5s, methodologies which have worked well, and academic research reports on the impacts of music making. The resources are divided into 3 sections:

Music in the Early Years: Who, What & Why? The London Early Years Music Network has gathered the many questions they are most often asked and shared the answers here to provide an introduction to music-making in the early years.

Do, Review, Improve… A quality framework for music education Youth Music’s principles of good practice when working with children and young people in group music making sessions.

LSO Discovery: Sharing early years music education practice – videos and notes on key aspects of the London Symphony Orchestra’s early years programme. They include:

 ‘Tuning in to children’ is intended to support musicians and early years practitioners working together in early years settings with children from birth to five years old. It aims to enable early years practitioners, musicians and project managers to work together to deepen their understanding of young children and their music-making whatever the context of the project. Topics covered:

Moving on: professional development for advanced Early Years music making provides information and signposting to literature, recent research and video links to CPD activities.

Earlyarts professional development days – Earlyarts is a national network that provides creative training and resources for creative artists and early years professionals wanting to develop their own creative confidence and ability. Click on the pink spots on the visual chart to find out about their training days.

Tuning in to children’s musicality – nurturing children’s ideas – A collection of practice write-ups, research papers and films reflects on the work of Sightlines Initiative in their Youth Music funded programme ‘The Drama of Sound’.

Sound Foundations: A supported musical curriculum for Early Years settings shows the value and outcomes of having a professional Early Years specialist train and work with non-music specialist staff in the classroom, to deliver musical activities for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

What’s That Noise? Recognising and supporting young children’s musicality

– A film created by the London Early Years Music Network to support those working in music with 3-5-year-olds.

Keeping Children Safe in Music Created in 2010 by the Musicians Union, the NSPCC, ABRSM and Youth Music, but still very relevant today, this short video series offers guidance to music practitioners on a range of child protection issues.

Department of Education Music Curriculum has several documents relating to music education. Examples: Guidance for Key Stage 1Key stage 2Key stage 3.

Sound Connections Resources – a library of engaging films, briefing papers, reports and case studies about music-making with young people. Many are for Early Years.

BBC’s Beginners tips for playing loads of different instruments and singing.

BBC and Music Mark music education videos These films aim to provide informative and engaging music education tools to support children and young people’s music education in both Primary and Secondary schools – and in reality they provide practical and highly useful insights for all (inside and outside the classroom).

Musical Makers Lots of useful links to resources for Music Educators, musicians and music lovers.

Music Education Madness Various resources, with a good links section.

Singing Activities for ages 7 – 14 Ideas, activities and resources for 7 – 14 year olds, from the British Council’s ‘World Voice’ Schools Online programme.

A very good document, aimed at children and young people, with advice about what instrument might suit you, what to think about when buying instruments, where to get them, help with learning, looking after your voice and instruments etc. Also lots of links to online music magazines for different genres – roots, D’n’B, rock, jazz, world, classical etc.

Engaging ‘hard to reach’ parents in Early Years music-making – an academic study that explores ways to engage hard-to-reach parents in early years music-making.  Has some practical tips in the ‘case studies’ section on page 6 of the executive summary. They also have a full practical toolkit to help you engage with hard to reach parents.

Music to Young Ears: Engaging Deaf Children with Music – an academic study that provides a thorough review of the issues relating to the provision of music opportunities to deaf children up to the age of five. The practical advice is in PART 5: Good Practice, Issues and Recommendations, pages 26-31 of the Young Ears Report.

Wider Opportunities: Creating Chances for Making Music – explores different ways of providing primary school children with opportunities to learn a range of musical instruments. It has a useful section on page 32 about understanding the connections between classroom management, behaviour management and best practice in teaching and learning.

What’s the best way for my child to learn music? An informative document by Youth Music that discusses various ways to learn music. Everyone is different and benefits from learning in different ways. The document covers one-to-one instrumental tuition and mentoring, group ensembles, workshops and ‘do it yourself’ techniques. The document also gives an insight into the benefits music gives in other areas such as language, academic and social development.

Early Years Evidence Review explores the effects and outcomes of music-making on children in their Early Years (0-5).

Tips on Sharing Good Practice – a Youth Music blog with a download of 20 questions to ask yourself about what you are doing, and tips on how to present what you say so that you can share your successes and challenges with others and tell your story well.

Training programmes for Early Years practitioners by the Voices Foundation designed to equip practitioners from all types of EY settings with extended skills, repertoire and ideas for making music.”By using our methodology, practitioners can help children to achieve the 6-point target in 2 dimensions of the Foundation Stage Profile.”

MA in Early Years Music Teaching A one year MA – 7 days of face to face teaching + distance learning for independent workshop leaders, early years educators, music therapists, advisors, community musicians and instrumental teachers.


Early Childhood Music Education Commission (ECME) promotes current ideas in early childhood music education which relate to research and to teaching. They have numerous documents and publications, and blogs.

Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children (MERYC) are an enthusiastic, supportive network with the desire to improve the provision of music in early childhood in the UK.

Early Years Teacher Organisation support members to continue to improve and enhance their skills and practice within the early years.

Early Arts is an award-winning national network for people working creatively with children and families in the arts, cultural and early years sectors. They host The Early Years Strategic Roundtable – a national alliance of organisations supporting creative experiences in the expressive arts for children in their early years. Early Arts website has a huge collection of research reports, case studies and practice-sharing resources for arts in the Early Years.

The Children’s Music Web A non-profit resource for “kids, families and children’s performers worldwide.” USA based. Sections for:

Music Instruments and Equipment:

Make Your own: Early years music specialist Sue Nicholls takes us through a step-by-step guide to making instruments for the under 5s from every day recycled objects.

Knock on Wood (Leeds)  A partnership of musicians and music enthusiasts. Large range of percussion and World Musical Instruments, recordings and tuition materials from hundreds of sources around the world. 2014 winner of ‘Most Innovative Retailer’ Music Teacher Awards For Excellence. Tel. 0113 242 9146

Adaptatrap (Brighton) Percussion instruments from around the world. “We also offer an ever-changing eclectic range of other unusual and ethically sourced instruments.” Tel 01273 672 722

Marbel (Cornwall). Toy distributor for numerous brands, specialising in ‘bringing wooden, quality, classic, traditional, innovative and educational toys to the UK market.’ Top Early Years Tips was inspired by a Marbel offer to Youth Music Network readers. Tel 01208 873 123.

Music Education Supplies Ltd (Surrey). Specialist supplier of percussion instruments to the primary school market. They have some free resources such as a Care of Instruments Download. Tel 020 8770 3866

Music for Starters Sells musical instruments, puppets, books, CDs and props for music making in early years and primary settings. Also one day courses aimed at teachers, musicians and early years practitioners suitable for anyone working from birth to first years at school.

Laboratory Media Education offer Specialist Music Education combined with cutting edge Technology in the form of Workshops, Modules for ks1/2 and 3 and CPD for teachers and music educators e.g. developing i-pad orchestras.

Educational Musicals publish children’s musicals, pantomimes, assembly pieces aimed at KS2 and KS3 pupils. Twitter: @EdMusicals


Resource Links for Event Promotion

The following links and advice will help you promote an event you are organising. Publicity for a ‘one off’ gig uses different strategies to the long-term promotion of your music as an artist.

Advice about a long-term publicity campaign to promote your music and yourself as an artist can be found on B Sharp’s Links for Music Promotion, Marketing & Getting Heard


B Sharp has written a publicity guide for promoting gigs, as part of its free online short course on event/project planning. It covers strategies to co-ordinate a multi-media campaign using press, social media, posters and how to create content that will connect with your audience etc. The guide will help you use the links below to tell your story.

Promote a Gig advice by , Guide.

Watch the 2nd video (under 5 minutes) at the bottom of the page in this link, of Harvey Goldsmith, one of the UK’s iconic event promoters, giving great advice on the most important parts of event promotion. Excellent music business advice! It’s not all about publicity, it’s about problem solving and communication between a team to create the best possible experience for the audience and performers.

JamMob has useful blogs about music marketing. It has various categories such as concert promotion, social media, radio, mobile marketing, publishing and more.

The Youth Media Agency is the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting over 300 exciting media platforms. They deliver campaign and media training, working with 16-25 year olds.


Sending in a story of around 300 words to your local press will often get you free editorial coverage. Many more people read their local newspaper than national ones, so it is a good way to reach a potential audience who are near your gig venue. The first paragraph should use the 5 Ws rule – who, what, when, why, where. More advice about when and what to put in a press release can be found in B Sharp’s publicity guide. In addition, good advice about writing press releases has been written by Ideas Tap  and can be seen here: How to write a press release. They have also blogged Five common press release mistakes.

A really good contemporary piece of advice about press releases has been written by . It makes full use of links to social media, images and story telling. She says, “The content and structure of press releases have a far greater influence on the visibility of the message, and as competition for attention increases, the formula for a successful press release is changing. Here are some ways to freshen the news releases your organization publishes, and get more results for your campaigns.”


Having a website as a promoter, or an organisation running events is an important way to keep people aware what you are doing. Your website is the place where you can tell your story in its fullest form, using text, video, audio, photos and has the ability to be designed and navigated to attract and lead viewers to what you want to say. It is important to keep it up to date. All other campaign tools can direct people to your website so you can tell your story in full. You can create QR codes for print material so that smart phones can be directed to your website on the spot, from wherever they see your poster, newspaper advert etc.


Great advice on how to use social media to promote events/organisations/projects by SoundDelivery. It explains the pros and cons of various social media sites, etiquette, and how to tell your story and interact with your audience. Some sites help you track how effective your posts are so that you can evaluate what works and prioritise your tools and time.

Facebook. Social media site to share information with friends/fans. It is an important tool to let potential customers know about what you are doing. You can create an event page and invite friends who can then invite their friends. It can be interactive and updated as news develops about your event. Facebook tools:

Twitter. Social media site for short blogs of up to 140 characters. Useful to link your more detailed story on another site.  For concise advice, see this infographic on how to create the perfect Tweet.

YouTube. Video sharing. The second biggest search engine (after Google), so a very important tool to tell your story. If you are promoting a small event, you may not have the resources or time to make a promotional video. However, one or more of your artists may have uploaded a video of their work and you can link your publicity to this. Videos are easier and more accessible for viewers than text. To make a video, see

Vimeo Same principle as YouTube. Video sharing – Upload, share, connect on your TV and phone, sell your work, promote your event.

Soundcloud. Link your event campaign to any uploads by your performers on Soundcloud. It is an online audio distribution platform which allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings. SoundCloud enables anyone to upload, record, promote and share their originally created sounds across the internet, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. As an artist, it’s a good way to get feedback on music you are producing/remixing. Twitter: @SoundCloud

Mixcloud‘s mission is to deliver great radio, for everyone. They describe themselves as “Re-thinking radio, joining the dots between traditional shows, Podcasts and DJ mixes. Still curious? Check our FAQTeam page. Upload your own music, interview your band etc to make a small radio show.” You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it e.g. through Facebook and Twitter.

Audioboo allows people to record and upload audio that can then be shared via other social networks. Audio can be recorded and uploaded straight from your phone or computer, allowing you to become a “social reporter” at events – where a group of people interactively and jointly contribute to some form of reporting, in text, photos, images or video. You could make a short audio piece about you event and direct people to it through Facebook and Twitter. An example of Audioboo at work is Zoe Ivory from the Big Lottery talking about the importance of blogging. Twitter: @theboobot

Blogging – opinion pieces, behind the scenes, what’s happening. They give more information than Facebook or Twitter. You could blog about the artists in your event, why you are putting the gig on, funny things that have happened when organising it etc. Lots of tips about blogging can be found on these links: basic blogging and blogging resources.  How to become an online ‘influencer’ Blog with 10 tips on how to become an influencer, as a ‘taste maker’ and opinion former.

Linkedin is a network for professionals to interact, get advice and support and make connections and endorsements. Useful for promoters, musicians and the music industry. Check out the range of groups with mutual interests e.g. Event Peeps: For Live Event Industry Professionals. The groups have lots of discussions and you can ask questions and receive advice from experienced peers.

MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. There is MailChimp for Music.

Storify users curate what people post on social media and turn them into stories. Create your own stories about what you do, your music etc.
Addthis. Merge tag tools for sharing – allows readers to share your music/story/campaign with their friends by connecting your posts to other sites. Add ‘follow’ and ‘share’ buttons to your social media sites.

Hootsuite is a tool that allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Control all of your accounts on the move with the mobile version. You can set up times for posts to be released, so that a social media campaign can be coordinated to ‘amplify’ your story at times most likely to be read. Twitter: @hootsuite or @HootSuite_Help

GigaTools manages your gig promotion publicity across several social media sites. Designed for artists, DJs, bands, labels and agents to manage, promote and share their upcoming gigs online. A little like Hootsuite.

ReverbNation – Similar to Hootsuite but designed just for music. It can update all of your online profiles with new information from one central location and track stats from all of your social media sites. Reverb Nation also gives you multiple ways to sell your music, from linking to your offsite shop on your Reverb Nation profile with a free membership to having your music on iTunes and Amazon in exchange for a nominal membership fee.

Digital toolkit – websites for modern musicians seeking to promote and distribute their music, or for music entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses.


Lemon Rock. A site that automatically finds your location (it asks for your permission) and then gives a local gig guide. Register your gig.

South West Music Services This is your portal to concerts, gigs and other music related events in the South West of England. If you would like a reciprocal link please get in touch. Bands, Jazz, classical and more. Register your gig.

Gig Guide provide information on Gigs, Live Music Venues, Wedding and Function Bands, Music Festivals and a host of other music related businesses in the UK. Register your gig.

Music Glue has event listings and offers services to support gigging artists. Register your gig.

Vocalist Gig Guide Add Your Gigs FREE to our online Gig Guide.  Amateur to Professional Solo & Duo Singers, Vocalists, Musicians, Songwriters, Venues, Pubs, Clubs, Covers & Original Acts.


You may want technical expertise or other resources for your event, whether it’s at home or you are taking a show on tour. To find what you need, you could use Showcase, the International music directory. Find contact details for a vast range of specialist suppliers to the music industry – concert services, venues, equipment, recording studios, music business services, media, musical equipment and musical equipment hire.

Lucky Dip Music Resource Links

The following are some fun, quirky, absorbing or useful music resources. Click on one at random and see where it takes you…..

Music Jokes! Just for fun.

Association of Blind Piano Tuners website contains information about everything related to pianos, from history, makers, movers, teachers, tuners and more. A fantastic resource for all piano enthusiasts!

BandName Worldwide search and registration of band names. Why Register? Establishing prior usage is a key component in protecting your name and avoiding unwelcome legal challenges. The Worldwide Registry notifies artists and labels where potential territorial name conflicts exist and registers your historical claim to ‘name’ usage.

BBC Music – Music across the BBC.

Bemuso gives detailed advice to the self-employed independent musician. A brilliant resource.

British Music Magazines A comprehensive list of British music magazines from Wikipedia, Click on them for Wikipedia’s page about them – their background and what they cover. Links to their websites are at the bottom of their Wikipedia page under External Links.

Buying Concert TicketsDon’t get caught out by ticket cons and fraud. Advice about buying concert tickets can be found here on the Concert Promoters Association website.

Electronic music blogs like Generation BassTropical BassSoundNomadenRadio CanalhOrganikFunk and Eclectikstudio. On Facebook e.g. sublvl

Get Safe Online covers everything you can think of about internet safety, from shopping to chatting, banking, smartphones and tablets etc.

Glossary of terms used about copyright, copying and distribution of music on computers.

How to tour in a band Humourous take on touring and how to get along. Warning – lots of bad language.

International Association of Music Libraries  exists to represent and promote the interests of music librarians and libraries, music–related archives and music information providers. They have an excellent resource page with links to loads of interesting information about music.

Looking After Your Hearing – advice by Action on Hearing Loss

LP Cover Lover Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of LPs. Lots of quirky categories.

Monkeyboxing is the “number one blog for FUNK, SOUL, HIP-HOP, NU/ GHETTO FUNK, associated MASH-UPS/ BOOTLEGS and a bit of REGGAE, SKA and PSYCH. We bring you the latest news, (p)reviews, features and release details because we’re all about the funky bumpin’ beats. Put simply, if you’re someone who thinks fat drum breaks and basslines are the apex of musical culture, then you’ve come to the right place”. Lots of links to related music and lifestyle sites. Facebook chatter.

Music facts and statistics for the UK Interesting data about music in the UK, covering UK market size and value, digital music, live music, export performance, research and publications. Compiled by The Creative Industries.

Shindig Weekender A weekend of dancing, with great DJs and live performance based on GhettoFunk. A welcoming crowd. End weekend of May.

Showcase, the international directory of the music industry, with over 10,000 contacts to choose from e.g. backline rental in Berlin through to a New York recording studio. Scroll down the categories on the left of the listings page. See the bottom of the page for common search listings – everything from tour buses, catering, legal services, stage crew and much more. A bit of a resource gem!

Social Media Handbook An excellent guide written by SoundDelivery, on using Social Media to tell your story and interact with your audience.

SoundCloud shares people’s original sounds and remixes. A strong interactive music community. If you like an artist, check out who they follow to find new related music. Twitter: @SoundCloud

Student Guide to Music Education is a free download by Rhinegold Publishing (Music, the Arts & Education specialist) giving a complete guide to music higher education.

  • Universities & Conservatoires, UK & International
  • Advice to help you choose the right place to study

Plus full listings of professional development courses.


The Knowledge is a leading UK-based online directory service for the video and broadcast production industry, enabling users to find film and TV contacts as well as a wide variety of production information. It helps you choose from over 20,000 UK and international production suppliers. It’s frequently updated, free to use and you don’t need to register. (You can register to get lots of free extras.) The Post Production and Sound section is particularly relevant to music.

Vocalist Everything you can think of related to singing and music generally! A fantastic resource for all musicians. One of the best and most comprehensive music information and networking sites on the internet! Every link takes you into a new world.

WFMU – FM is a listener-supported, non-commercial radio station and is currently the longest running freeform radio station in the United States. Worth checking out. WFMU’s programming ranges from flat-out uncategorizable strangeness to rock and roll, experimental music, 78 RPM Records, jazz, psychedelia, hip-hop, electronica, hand-cranked wax cylinders, punk rock, gospel, exotica, R&B, radio improvisation, cooking instructions, classic radio airchecks, found sound, dopey call-in shows, interviews with obscure radio personalities and notable science-world luminaries, spoken word collages, Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtracks in languages other than English as well as Country and western music.

Women in Music is a national membership organisation that celebrates women’s music making across all genres of music. They raise awareness of gender issues in music and support women musicians in their professional development. They have links to other organisations that are useful for female musicians.

Links to Music Blogs/News/Discussion/Interaction

Here are some links to help you interact with others connected to music. Always pay attention to Internet safety when talking to others online.

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

Music Blogs/News/Discussion/Interaction Resources:

Bemuso blogs about everything you want to know as an independant musician, with information about getting your music out into the world and insights into the music industry. Very good and lots of detail.

British Music Magazines A comprehensive list of British music magazines, with links to them.

Alltop. An “online magazine rack” of the web. They do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. This is their Music Selection.

NME Music magazine. News, tickets (thousands of artists), videos, blogs, new music, reviews.

BBC music learning resource lists key magazines to check out on page 20 of this great document.

Channel 4 Music What’s on, news, videos and more.

Classical Music UKLeading UK Classical Music news and jobs website. Twitter: @classicalmusuk

Music Week: Industry news/insight from the Music Week team. Twitter: @MusicWeekNews

Electronic music blogs like Generation Bass, Tropical Bass, SoundNomaden, Radio Canalh, OrganikFunk and Eclectikstudio. On Facebook e.g. sublvl

Ted videos on music – Ted is a site of “Ideas worth spreading”.

Musicians Against Playing for Free is a Facebook page with lots of examples of promoters trying to get professional musicians to play at their events for free with the lure that the performers will get future offers of paid work – getting your name about etc. Strong arguments supporting resistance against this. Why is the musician expected to be the first to not get paid at an event?

In B Flat turns user generated content into user generated composition by embedding video of people making music (in the key of Bb) on the same web page and allows you to: play them together, some or all, start them at any time, in any order. You are the remixer. Great idea.

MusicDish An online community gathering music sites & webradio. Several different services: a creative approach to artist development and representation; online press release distribution & marketing; publications disclosing all the latest information involving the music industry; and even a indie music video channel.

Discussion forum for musicians, especially music technology – studio work, software, hardware, DJing, buying/selling, collaborations.

Create Hub ‘Writing about those beautiful collaborations between art and creative technology.’ All art forms covered, including music e.g. an interview with Max Cooper, the electronica and Techno producer and his new 4D project of surround sound. Innovative stuff! Twitter: @CreateHubUK

Music Education UKIndependent national magazine, news and information for everyone in the music education sector. International music ed conferences in Asia and Europe. Twitter: @MusicEdUK Factmagazine describe themselves as: The world’s most on-it music magazine, and home of the weekly FACT mix series. Twitter: @factmagazine

The Quietus A new rock music and pop culture website. Twitter: @theQuietus

The FutureEverything Island provides a place for technologists, thinkers and creatives to share, innovate, & bring the #futr into the present. Twitter: @FuturEverything

Sentric Music. Music Publishing/Synchronisation/Royalty Collection & much more. Home to *thousands* of artists/bands & getting their music on TV. Twitter: @SentricMusic

Blog example of The Unsigned guide. Must pay to be a member to access full service

Mattew Moran blog site Reflections on the music industry.

Free music software blog Discussion on favourite free music software from the Youth Music Network.

Arts & Business. From Twitter – Arts & Business unites culture and commerce to create a better future for both. Tweet us with questions. Twitter: @arts_business

Twitter Music. Music related tweets from around the world. @TwitterMusic

Guardian music. Twitter: Squashing music into 140 characters since 2008 @guardianmusic

BBC Music Magazine. Twitter: The official random musings of the BBC Music Magazine editorial team @MusicMagazine

BBC Radio 1. Twitter: This is the official Twitter account for BBC Radio 1. Talk to us, ask us questions, get involved!@BBCR1 and @BBCR1MusicNews

MusicTank. Twitter: A unique, neutral information hub for UK music business…addressing change and innovation through informed debate, objective analysis and industry engagement. @MusicTank

If you know of other links that would be useful, please comment.