Monday, October 31, 2016

Fwd: EPSRC CASE PhD in Semantic Audio and Music Informatics at Queen Mary Centre for Digital Music

[Please forward as appropriate]

This PhD is fully funded for 3.5 years and is in collaboration with
Roli ( one of the music tech sector's most exciting
and dynamic companies. The stipend is for in excess of £22,000 p.a.
(and fees are covered too).

The focus of the research will be on novel, low level signal
processing to extract musical features from audio. The novelty here
will be to focus on finer time resolution than is normally possible.

For further details, download an information sheet from:

Eligibility: for this position, the funders have strict eligibility
criteria. The grant can only be offered to those who have UK
residence. Details on how to check this are on the information sheet.

thank you


professor mark sandler, FREng
BSc (Hons), PhD, CEng, FIEEE, FAES, FIET
royal society wolfson research merit award holder

director of the centre for digital music (c4dm)and qMedia

school of electronic engineering and computer science
queen mary university of london
+44 (0)20 7882 7680
+44 (0)7775 016715
twitter: @markbsandler,
follow the FAST-IMPACt Programme Grant @semanticaudio

deadline extended to 27 Nov 2016: 3rd International Conference of Dalcroze Studies (ICDS3)


3rd International Conference of Dalcroze Studies (ICDS3)

'The living moment: Exploring improvisational practice'

30 July – 03 August 2017, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada

The conference

The aim of ICDS3 is to present the best of current research and
practice within Dalcroze Studies and related fields. ICDS is a global,
transdisciplinary forum, open to viewpoints from education, the arts
and humanities, and the social, health and life sciences. We welcome
practitioners and scholars alike. This year our theme is improvisation
in music, dance, somatic practices, theatre and therapy, with a
special focus on the relationships between music/sound and movement.

Keynotes (confirmed)

Ruth Alperson, Dean, Hoff-Barthelson Music School, USA

Ruth Gianadda, Professor, Institute Jaques-Dalcroze, Geneva, Switzerland

Karin Greenhead, Director of Studies, Dalcroze UK

Reto W. Kressig, Professor and Chair of Geriatrics, University Center
for Medicine of Aging Basel (UAB), Felix-Platter Hospital, University
of Basel, Switzerland

Raymond MacDonald, Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation,
University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Max van Manen, Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta, Canada

Lisa Parker, Director, Longy Dalcroze Institute, Longy School of Music
of Bard College, USA

Call for proposals

We welcome presentations on improvisation, as it relates to Dalcroze
Eurhythmics and music, movement and the mindful body more broadly. We
embrace a wide range of disciplines and areas, and invite
practitioners and researchers to share their knowledge, experience and
scholarship on this theme. Conference topics include, but are not
limited to:

Music-movement improvisation

Descriptions and theories of improvisation

Improvisation and embodiment

Improvisation in culture and improvisation as culture

Improvisation as social relationship or dialogue

Improvisation as process, as product, as means

Interdisciplinary and intermedial approaches to improvisation

Teaching improvisation

The role of improvisation in pedagogy, performance, therapy and research

Teaching as an improvisational practice

Assessing and evaluating improvisation

Developing curricula and educational material on improvisation

Improvisation and the professional development of teachers

The interaction of technology and improvisation

Improvisation and wellbeing

Personal and social development through improvisation

Improvisation and ethics (empowerment, social justice)

Improvisation and community

The historical development and transmission of improvisational
practice in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and related fields

Types of presentation

Paper, workshop, symposium, roundtable, informal daytime performance,
evening performance, poster, presentation to host ICDS5 in 2021


Submit your proposal at by Sunday 27 November
2016 23:59 (BST)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Job opportunity: University of Hull, Research Assistant (Music)

The School of Arts at the University of Hull is advertising for a
Research Assistant in the Music subject area as part of an externally
funded research project during the Hull City of Culture year in 2017.
The school has recently benefited from a multi-million pound
investment into facilities that include a refreshed concert hall,
practice rooms, and new industry standard music studios, all in
preparation for City of Culture. This role has been created to
evaluate the New Music Biennial and supporting residencies and school
workshops and is funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, via The
Performing Rights Society Foundation in association with Sound and

The post is for a Research Assistant at band 6 for 14 months and is
part-time (0.5 of full time). The successful applicant will either
have completed or be near to completing a PhD in either Music
Education or Music Psychology; full details can be found on the job

To discuss this role informally, please contact Dr Andrew King, Tel:
01482 465370,

More details can be found here:

Monday, October 24, 2016

SIMMposium2 2017

SIMM-POSIUM: 2nd Research Symposium on Social Impact of Making Music (SIMM) 2017

Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, 8-9 July, 2017

Closing date for proposals and expressions of interest: 15 February, 2017

This symposium will bring together researchers, practitioners
interested in research, and policymakers concerned with social
welfare, to build and strengthen a network of professionals wishing to
deepen rigorous and evidence-based understanding of how active
participatory music making may be used to bring measurable social
benefits to groups of individuals in diverse situations.

This network is one strand of activity of the newly formed
International Centre for Social Impact of Making Music, directed from
the University of Ghent, Belgium, but intended to involve
institutional partners in various countries, which will support a
programme of collaborative research training and development under the
guidance of international experts in the field.

In order to preserve a lively and fully participatory dialogue, the
number of participants will be restricted to 60, based on written
expressions of interest. There will be provision in the programme for
up to 30 brief (10-15 minute) presentations of research or
research-related work in progress (or critical reflections on
research), which will be curated into thematic panels of four to five
presentations followed by a plenary discussion.

Presentations on any aspect of making music's social impact will be
welcome, but we hope to include sessions on the following topics:

- Making music in the complex social ecology of the metropolis:
opportunities and challenges for London and other mega-cities
- Experiences from the global south: impact of context and culture
- The role of conservatoires and other higher education institutions
in delivering social impact of making music

A keynote address will be given by Samuel Araujo, Ethnomusicology
Laboratory, Federal University of Rio De Janeiro.

The programme will be overseen by a scientific committee whose members are:

Geoffrey Baker Royal Holloway / Institute of Musical Research
Susan Hallam UCL Institute of Education
Jennie Henley Royal College of Music
Francois Matarasso Writer and Researcher
Lukas Pairon SIMM Centre, University of Gent
John Sloboda Guildhall School of Music & Drama

For further details about submission and registration, please go to

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fwd: [FREE London talk] The Sound of {Music} Computing at QMUL

FREE event aimed at secondary school students (but all welcome!)

Dear colleagues

The IET and QMUL are jointly hosting "The Sound of {Music} Computing"
a Christmas lecture for schools and families to be given by Andrew
McPherson on Thursday 1 December 2016, at the People's Palace, Mile
End. Nearest tube is Stepney Green with 25/205 buses stopping next to
the venue (Mile End station is not far away).

Homepage | Eventbrite tickets (free) | Event flyer (PDF)

Mathematics and computer science are behind today's technological wizardry…

Let Andrew McPherson, both scientist and musician be your guide into
the world where computing and traditional musical instruments collide.

This is a free talk about augmented musical instruments, which use
digital technology to extend the creative possibilities of familiar
musical instruments. Augmented instruments build on centuries-old
designs like the piano and violin, but they also use electronic
sensors, actuators and computers to transform and enhance the sound of
the instrument as it is played. For example, we could build a piano
which can sustain forever and play vibratos and pitch bends like a
violin, or we could make an electronic violin that always stays in
tune no matter where you place your fingers.

This special one-off Christmas event – co-hosted by the School of
Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary, and The
Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – will be a fun-filled
evening full of surprises.

The evening is aimed at secondary school aged students, but with
surprises to be unveiled for both adults and young people alike. All
are welcome so if you have a curious mind, book your (free) tickets
below quickly as places are vanishing fast!


17:00 Registration
17:15 Seating
17:30 Start of lecture
18:30 Drinks and mince pies
19:00 Close

Best wishes,

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fwd: Call for Papers: ISPS 2017, Reykjavík (August 30 | 02 September 2017)


ISPS 2017
Performance, Processes, and Products

August 30 | 02 September 2017
Reykjavík | Iceland

The next International Symposium on Performance Science will be hosted
by the Iceland Academy of the Arts and convened at Harpa, Reykjavík's
world-renowned concert hall, on August 30 – 02 September 2017.

The ISPS 2017 theme, Performance, Processes and Products, is intended
to encourage discussion and debate on how performances are conceived,
developed, delivered and received. Specific research topics, fields of
study, and methodological approaches have been left open intentionally
to encourage interdisciplinary exchange.

Submissions detailing original research are invited from all
performance disciplines, offering new perspectives from across the
arts and sciences.


Hilmar Bragi Janusson
Dean of the School of Engineering and Natural Science
University of Iceland (Iceland)

Reinhard Kopiez
Professor of Music Psychology
Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media (Germany)

Alison McGregor
Professor of Musculoskeletal Biodynamics
Imperial College London (UK)

Steven Schlozman
Associate Director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
Harvard University (USA)


15 January 2017: Paper/poster abstract submission deadline
15 March 2017: Notification of submission decision
01 April 2017: Article submissions open for ISPS 2017 Research Topic
in Frontiers
15 April 2017: End of early registration
30 August 2017: Start of ISPS 2017
31 December 2017: Article submission deadline for ISPS 2017 Research
Topic in Frontiers


Submissions are invited for

- Spoken papers
- Poster presentations
- Symposia and workshops

Detailed instructions for submissions will be available via the
conference website: Submissions should be
made electronically to by 15 January 2017.


The Scientific Committee is keen to encourage the attendance of
students, as well as established researchers and practitioners.
Therefore, the ISPS 2017 Graduate Award will be offered to one
graduate student to present a keynote paper at the conference.


Each submission will be reviewed anonymously by the Scientific
Committee according to its originality, importance, clarity, and
interdisciplinarity. Corresponding authors will be notified by email
of the Committee's decision by 15 March 2017.


Building on the publication of articles from ISPS 2013 and ISPS 2015
in Frontiers in Psychology, the journal is will host a Research Topic
in the specialty section Performance Science for ISPS 2017 presenters.
To qualify, the first (or corresponding) author must be a registered
presenter at ISPS 2017, and the manuscript should be submitted to the
journal for independent peer-review between 01 April and 31 December

The philosophy of Frontiers is that research is the product of an
investment by society, and therefore, its fruits should be returned to
all people without borders or discrimination, serving society
universally and in a transparent fashion. This is why Frontiers
provides online free and open access to all of its research

The new Frontiers specialty section Performance Science welcomes
submissions of the highest quality of the following types: Book
Review, Editorial, General Commentary, Hypothesis & Theory, Methods,
Mini Review, Opinion, Original Research, Perspective, Review,
Specialty Grand Challenge and Technology Report. Like most other
serious open-access publishers, Frontiers maintains a high quality of
service through an 'author-pay' model. As such, manuscripts that are
accepted for publication following peer review may incur a publishing
fee (reduced for Research Topic submissions), depending on the article
type. For more information on the Frontiers open access policy and
publishing fees, see

To learn more about the specialty section Performance Science, see or write to chief editor Aaron
Williamon at

Note. The ISPS 2017 Research Topic replaces the Proceedings of the
International Symposium on Performance Science. As with ISPS 2015, a
proceedings volume will not be produced for ISPS 2017; however,
published articles from all previous ISPS are freely available at


Full and one-day registration options are available. Online
registration will open on 15 March 2017.

For further information about the venue, submissions, graduate award,
and registration, visit the conference website:

The official language of the conference is English.

ISPS 2017 Co-Chairs

Aaron Williamon, Royal College of Music
Pétur Jonasson, Iceland Academy of the Arts

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fwd: Fully Funded PhD studentship - Open University

The School of Computing and Communications at the Open University (UK)  invites applications for a full-time PhD studentship starting either in February or October 2017. Studentships are for three years full time study, and cover tuition fees and a stipend of £14,296 pa.

The following topics are suitable, but you are welcome to propose a project in any area of music computing.

Musical Contrast (and Similarity)
Music and Emotion
Music and Narrative
Computational Creativity
Computational Musicology
Deep Learning for Music
Musical Pattern Discovery
Statistical Music Generation
Music for Computer Games
Collaborative Music Environments
Musical Tabletops
MIR in Creative Settings

A separate topic that might be of interest, and draw on some of the same themes and technologies, is the use of ubiquitous technology in group conflict resolution.

If interested, please contact me (Dr Robin Laney: robin.laney @ for an informal discussion and advice on constructing a proposal early, as a polished proposal will be needed.

Applications from part-time candidates also welcome.

The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

For further details of how to apply, please visit:

Closing date: 31st October 2016.

Interviews will be held in November 2016

Thursday, October 13, 2016

New Government figures show a fall in arts GCSEs

New Government figures show a fall in arts GCSEs

The percentage of pupils entering at least one arts subject has fallen to by 1.7 percentage points to just 47.9% of pupils in state-funded schools in 2016.

The new figures were published today by the Department for Education.

This is on top of an overall decline of 8% in the uptake of arts subjects at GCSE and shows that the DfE's English Baccalaureate (EBacc) proposals are continuing to have a negative impact on the uptake of creative, artistic and technical subjects in schools.

Here is how you can help change this:

If you can do just these two things, you will be helping change minds about creative, artistic and technical subjects.

Best wishes,

The Bacc for the Future campaign team

PS don't forget that once you have emailed your MP's reply to you can respond to any issues they have raised by using the key facts on the Bacc for the Future website.

Creative Futures





'Music for Change' 2015-18





Collaborating with Speech and Language Therapists: a multi-perspective report







1. Introduction

Julian Knight, Alice Bowmer, Graham F Welch

Creative Futures, London, October 2016



'Music for Change' is a multi-year programme which aims to enhance children's early development and improve rates of school readiness among pre-school children in northwest Westminster, an area of multiple deprivation. Devised to meet specific needs identified by the local authority's Early Years Advisory Team, the project has a particular focus on supporting above average numbers of children with speech and language delay.


A key strand of the project is a collaboration with NHS speech and language therapists (SLTs) from Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH), which started with a pilot project in the summer of 2015, and which has since then seen three distinct collaborative interventions in two nursery settings.


This report brings together findings from our own observations of the project, feedback from Early Years Professionals (EYPs), extracts from reports provided by the SLTs and music leaders who co-delivered the work, and a process evaluation by Professor Graham Welch (UCL Institute of Education) and Alice Bowmer.


2. Background research



As with many Creative Futures programmes, Music for Change is strongly rooted in relevant research. In this case, we have devised a project rooted in the notion that certain music activities enhance multiple areas of early childhood development, especially speech and language skills.


There is a growing body of evidence that early engagement in active music-making has a beneficial impact on young children's development. Benefits are evidenced in aural perception and language skills (Anvari et al, 2002; Dege & Schwarzer 2011; Patel 2011; Moreno et al. 2009; Moreno et al. 2011; Putkinen, Tervaniemi, & Huotilainnen, 2013; Williams, Barrett, Welch, Abad, & Broughton, 2015) and specifically children with language impairment (Cumming et al.

2015; Corriaveua & Goswami 2008; Habib et al. 2016). There is also evidence that active music-

making positively impacts on reading (Bhide et al. 2013; Goswami et al. 2013; Schon 2014;

Long, 2014; Gordon, Fehd, McCandliss, 2015; Welch et al 2012); verbal memory (Roden, Grube, Bongard, & Kreutz, 2014); spatial reasoning (Hetland, 2000); self-regulation (Winsler, Ducenne,

& Koury, 2011 ); pro-social skills and identity (Kirschner & Tomasello 2009 & 2011;  Welch et al.

2014; Williams et al., 2015); and general school attainment (Gillespie & Glider, 2010; Wetter, Koerner, & Schwaninger, 2009).


In addition, arts-enriched preschool environments that include music (particularly singing) are likely to improve children's school readiness and receptive vocabulary (Brown, Benedett & Armistead, 2010), literacy (Phillips, Gorton, Pinciotti & Sachdev, 2010; Hannon et al. 2016), cognitive reasoning (Portowitz, Lichtenstein, Egorova & Brand, 2009; Henriksson-Macaulay & Welch, 2015) and emotional regulation skills. Such impact is evidenced in children at risk in low-income families (Brown & Sax, 2013; Trehub et al. 2015; Corbeil et al. 2016). See also Barrett, 2016; Hallam, 2015; Henriksson-Macaulay & Welch, 2016; Welch, 2006 for reviews of related literature.


3. Project structure  and aims



Our collaboration involved one SLT and one musician co-leading a series of weekly workshops. Following a positive 5-week pilot at Katharine Bruce Nursery in the summer of 2015, CLCH and Creative Futures agreed to further exploratory collaboration in the form of two 5-week interventions at Katharine Bruce Nursery then a 10-week intervention at Queen's Park Community Nursery (both London Early Years Foundation nurseries).


Our aim was to impact positively on speech and language development of children with language delay, and in particular to work with EYPs to give them a wider range of music-based tools with which to support and nurture children's language development.


Four detailed planning and development sessions took place, each involving the lead SLT, musician and project manager. Each workshop on the nursery floor lasted approximately 50 minutes and was flanked on-site by an hour for collaborative planning and then up to an hour for reflection involving both leaders and nursery staff. We found this structure to be an invaluable way of reflecting on what had occurred in the session, cementing learning from each other, and agreeing activities which could further support the children's learning prior to

the next session.



Overall, this process formed a weekly action research cycle (i.e., plan/act/review) that drew on and sought to combine in some way each of their areas of specialist expertise. Their weekly planning and evaluation sessions, set either side of actual classroom-based activities with children and nursery staff, were designed to allow them, both collectively and individually, to respond to their perceptions of the requirements, priorities, successes and developmental needs of children and nursery staff as the shared programme rolled out. (Welch & Bowmer, 2016)

4. Workshop content



The overarching content focus across each term interweaved musical and related language activities. A major thread was voice and movement activity that was centred on a selected children's book. There were also opportunities within each weekly session for children to explore and lead activities themselves. The programme design allowed for the insertion of musician-led activity into children's already-established free play activities. The use of percussion instruments also featured, as well as singing and other activities that related to the musical and linguistic exploration of physical objects from a specially designed resource collection. As part of her planning, the musician brought in a bag of such resources, including soft toys and simple sound-making objects.


These resources were subsequently supplemented and extended in discussion with the SLT partner, drawing on their extensive craft knowledge of working with young children in similar contexts. Additionally, the resources became increasingly enriched by the inclusion of found items in the classroom, which ensured that the session content embraced materials with which the children were already familiar.



The SLT led the design of a 'visual timetable' of prioritised ingredients for each particular week. These visual prompts allowed the children to interact with a physical symbol of a scheduled activity as it happened. This approach supported the development of aspects of children's executive function, including memory, understanding and temporal-structural awareness, with

specific foci included each week that related to their growing language competences and needs.


The programme's weekly sessions typically involved many common elements and included:

Warm-up activities, such as songs and games;

Free-play: with instruments and other items being placed around the room that linked

both to the chosen term's key storybook and also to the rest of that session's activities;

Movement and action, such as dancing and using scarves, accompanied by music from a CD or played by the musician;

Circle time that often used a large, elasticated cloth 'scrunchy' for the children to hold in order to bring the group into a circle; this was also an opportunity to share collective sound making, such as vocal pitch glides to match the movements of the circle as it expanded and contracted, and allowing for different tempi and vocal timbres to be explored;

A 'Hello' song, in which each child was named;

The shared use of a 'visual timetable' so that children could see, discuss and revisit the

key elements and activities that had been designed into that week's session;

Listening activities, including story time readings from the focus storybook, often with percussion accompaniment at key moments to reinforce underlying rhythmic patterns to support children's phonological development; the vocal sounds and movement used by each practitioner were also encouraged imitatively from the children to help bring the narrative actively to life for them;

Selected song materials (such as 'Down in the forest' song, 'What's in the bag? and

'Chop, chop, cooking pot');

Focused vocabulary and phonological activity, such as syllable clapping, with 'What's in the bag' involving vocabulary that was based on the focus storybook's contents;

Systematic hand gestures (drawing on Makaton) which focused the young children's

attention on specific language, including instructions;

A composing and listening game, in which each child composed a short song based on the creature or sound object that they had taken from 'What's in the bag?'; this song was then repeated and modelled by the adults and then the other children; and

Turn-taking, such as with 'What's in the bag?' and a goodbye song/game, sometimes

accompanied by the rolling of a ball across the group to ensure that every named individual was included.


5. Impacts on children's language development


In terms of impact, a comparison of the data in our research observation notes between the first and final sessions each term revealed evidence of children demonstrating significant musical learning, as well as language development and increased communication skills. (Welch & Bowmer, 2016)

Children were observed collectively and (almost always) individually to be on-task and purposefully and positively involved in the offered programme activities. This high level of collective engagement provided a positive foundation for the development of an observed sense of belonging and the promotion of social inclusion within the group.


The children's sense of ownership of the Music for Change programme was observed in their

behaviours, including their comments during the session, such as:

In week 9, children began to predict and request elements of the session, as exampled

by Child 1: "I want to do circle time now"; Child 2: "And the rain time is finished"; Child

3: "Now we could do the Gruffalo song"; Child 4: "And the window song, and then the choppy chop"; and Child 3: "We forgot about the bag!"… "Shall we do the ball song to say goodbye?"


Other examples of impact were noted at an individual child level. For example:

Child 5: No speech or engagement was evidenced in session 1. However, by session 5, the child prepared herself, unassisted, for an upcoming activity by sitting on the floor and getting ready to receive a football when rolled by another child. She participated now in most group activity, moving and making sound, showing particular enjoyment during the dance activity.

Child 6: Little engagement in session 1, but by session 5 was participating in the whole session, practising repeating spoken phrases to himself, showing great enthusiasm for dance and engaging regularly with other children.

 In relation to the activity 'circle time', children began to explore sound themselves,

without prompting. Week 5 observations noted a child-led exploration of sound: Child

1: "bu, bu, bu, bu" to the pulsed moving of the 'scrunchy'. Child 2 copied the sound with a different rhythm five times. Child 3 then joined Child 2 and went on to change the sound to "pa, pa, pa". This lead to "chopperty chop". Keeping the rhythm, Child 3 makes up his own words to the group learnt song 'Chop, chop, cooking pot'. All sounds were rhythmic and kept with a pulse made by the children's up/down movement of the

'scrunchy'. This is an example of children developing musical skills, knowledge and

understanding, as well as an increasing mastery of focused language skills and vocabulary development.



"The collaboration with SLTs really worked: it has helped children with pronunciation, helped listening skills for distinguishing sounds and rhythm, and supported children with speech and language delay through sounds and rhymes. Two children have been signed off from Speech and Language Therapy as a result of the improvement made." (Nursery manager)

Early Years teachers and assistants involved in the project reported to us that:

"Children's  ability  to  remain  attentive  for  the  entirety  of  the  session  increased


Children are listening and attending for longer periods during whole class activities;

Some of the quieter children gradually became more confident in engaging in the music sessions, and this confidence transferred over to other small and whole group activities;

During the week children were observed acting out the music sessions, with one child taking on the role of the 'teacher' and leading a music session. This occurred during spontaneous play and was child led."                                                    (Swain & Blyth, 2016)


6. Impact on EYPs



"[Music is] more embedded across the nursery. Staff have embraced it, and taken on board

how music supports children's learning. Children look forward to the sessions and carry on

when the musicians are not there." (Nursery manager)



Demonstrable musical and linguistic pedagogical knowledge and skills were evident in the final session from participant nursery school staff in both settings. During this final session, nursery staff members were observed to be able to lead activities, based on their participant observation of mentored expertise in the preceding weeks. They were observed, with various degrees of confidence, to use their own voices musically and positively to promote children's communication and musical skills, knowledge and understanding. There was an impressive range of musical repertoire evidenced by the staff.




In addition, the debriefing discussion after the final music session with nursery assistants demonstrated their growing professional awareness, such as in the ways that they had shared in the organisation and leading of the musical activities in that final week. The assistants stated that:

Parents were commenting positively on their children singing the focus music repertoire at home;

All the children and staff had really enjoyed the selected songs and focused musical


Staff felt that their shared turn-taking in leading the music/language activities was a positive aspect; and

The assistants were able to recount successes and how individual children had benefitted through the activities, such as the report of a parent phoning the nursery to tell staff how improved their child's communication was at home recently. Another example reported by a nursery staff member was: "Through this project I have observed a child with limited communication initiating his own song, exploring rhyme and understanding the use of syllables".


There was also a positive sense of staff supporting each other and recognising their own development. This was seen as an important feature in the successful management of the activities. For example, one nursery practitioner said about another, "I noticed that she used her singing voice to regain the children's attention during this week. I have not heard her do this before". In another example, two members of nursery staff were filmed running an unaided, 35-minute music and language session during intervention week 10.


Overall, there was a range of positive evidence of the impact of the mentoring on nursery staff:

Their comments demonstrated a strong awareness of language development opportunities;

When prompted by the SLT, they had suggestions for extensions, such as the children creating their own songs in play;

Staff liked the action related activities, including the linked story narratives;

Overall, they reported that they had really appreciated the whole experience of the programme in terms of their own personal and professional development.


EYPs also completed questionnaires at the start and end of each 5/10-week intervention relating to their use of music as a tool for language development.

"Practitioners reported feeling more confident in supporting young children's communication and concentration skills through music activities and were more confident in leading such activities.

Both   practitioners   stated   that  they  felt  empowered  to   share   information   and

knowledge gained with their colleagues."

(Blyth, 2016)


"I will be more confident in leading music sessions and supporting my colleagues in planning and leading music sessions to support language. I will model this for colleagues to demonstrate how we structure sessions." (EYP3)



Figure 1: Changes in confidence on named activities for the four EYPs in their nursery setting, with pre- and post-project self-assessments


Figure 1 illustrates the positive shift in levels of perceived confidence for participant EYPs as a result of their experiences in the Music for Change project. Each EYP was asked to rate their level of confidence on a specific target behaviour at the beginning and end of the project, using a ten-point Likert-type self-reporting scale.


7. What we learned & how it is shaping  our practice



At a mid-project planning session, the music leader suggested that the shared, action-research- based experience in previous term had impacted positively on her reflective approach. In particular, she felt that there was a need for her and her SLT partner to allow more opportunity for children to contribute within and across weekly sessions in her words, for her to become

'less of a performer and more of an expert facilitator'. She also drew on her experience of

working with the Spring Term's SLT and the use of principles contained in the 'National

Strategies: Inclusion Development Programme' (DCSF, 2008b), which could be used as a basic

'script' for defining programme priorities, including language development and auditory



Professional and appropriately critical self-reflection was encouraged by each specialist. For example, the musician set herself specific targets based on her growing awareness of the programme context related to the SLT's explicit concerns. Targets that emerged included: to focus on speaking clearly, using repetitive language, choosing songs with appropriate vocabulary and finding ways of listening and exploring nouns.


In each successive school, the musician and SLT developed a successful and collaborative music/language programme, drawing on their respective disciplinary strengths and their reflective observations with the children and staff. They also took regular opportunities to

gather useful feedback pre-and post-sessions with the nursery teams on the professional development component.


There was observable evidence of a strong and positive partnership in the planning and execution of the programme that also included the nursery staff who had been empowered to gain sufficiently in confidence that they were willing to lead musical activities that would foster children's social communication and language skills along the lines of their mentored experience. The core professional team also reported that they were enriched and empowered by their experiences.


Reflections by the musician involved in the project:

Working alongside a SLT has been invaluable in deepening understanding as a music practitioner of the link between musical elements and language skills, and of the different areas of early language and communication development.

The level and desire to engage in activities, plus the space and time that was musically created, was particularly beneficial in allowing more shy children to find their voice in a safe and creative environment.

The free-play sections of the sessions led to the formation of spontaneous songs. These

were generated using fragments of known songs, or composed by the children. This shifted the focus away from adult-led group activities into a creative sharing session owned by the children.

The benefits of the SLT model of involving nursery staff in running the groups has been key to the activities continuing between sessions.

The use of a visual timetable introduces a consistent and repetitive structure to the

sessions, which is beneficial.



Reflections by the SLTs involved in the project:

Following the children's lead and repeating back their spontaneous attempts at singing led to increased confidence and helped develop shared attention.

Having  structured  activities  grow  out  of  an  initial  musical  free-play  period  led  to increased group attention for the duration of the session and a sense of ownership of the session by the children.

Strategies  normally  employed  in  Early  Year's  SLT  language  groups  were  easily

incorporated into the music group's structure, for example, activities relating to vocabulary development and attention and listening skills. It is felt that these activities became further enhanced, and the children more engaged, due to them being embedded in a music group format.

Using  improvised  songs  to  narrate  children's  play  and  support  their  vocabulary

development correlates with the adult-child interaction strategy of 'commenting on what children are doing'.

Music education can support language and communication development in pre-school




"We have noticed that singing to children through transitions in the nursery has really

supported children with speech and language delays and the children coming up from the baby room." (Nursery manager)





8. Conclusion and next steps


Music for Change strengthens Creative Futures' reputation as a leader in the field of specialised Early Years provision, using carefully crafted, high quality arts programmes to give children (often their first) experiences of participating in an arts activity, as well as enhancing their learning and development. Our programmes, often delivered in areas of multiple deprivation, can have profound and long-term positive outcomes for the children taking part.


This collaboration with Speech and Language Therapists has given us a fascinating insight into another profession, and opened the eyes of professionals from both arts and health disciplines to the similarities in their approach, and how the common ground provides a solid platform on which to build knowledge and extend practice across our work to the benefit of children with language delay and the practitioners who support them.  As Music for Change moves into its second full year from September 2016, further collaborations are planned and are likely to take the form of 8-week co-led interventions which will continue to involve staff in a close working model, as well as examining the impacts of the workshops on individual children's speech and language development. Through these interventions we will finalise our approach in the form

of a core programme which could be replicated in Early Years settings more widely.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with SLTs from CLCH and are grateful for their time and commitment to this programme.


9. Partners  and Funders



With thanks to those that have supported this project since 2015: Central London Community Healthcare (CLCH), Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, Westminster ward budgets for Westbourne and Harrow Road wards, & with particular thanks to our major funders and investors:











10. References



Anvari, S. H., Trainor, L.J., Woodside, J., & Levy, B.A. (2002). Relations among Musical Skills, Phonological Processing, and Early Reading Ability in Preschool Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 83 (2): 111–30.


Barrett, M.S. (2016). Attending to "culture in the small": a narrative analysis of the role of play, thought, and music in young children's world-making. Research Studies in Music Education, 38 (1), 4154.


Barrett, Flynn and Welch (forthcoming). Music value and participation: An Australian case study of music provision and support in Childcare. Ms submitted for publication.


Bhide, A., Power, A., & Goswami, U. (2013). A Rhythmic Musical Intervention for Poor Readers: A Comparison of Efficacy With a Letter-Based Intervention. Mind, Brain, and Education 7 (2): 113–23. doi:10.1111/mbe.12016.


Blyth, A. (2016). Report on collaborative project between Speech and Language Therapy and Creative Futures at

Queen's Park Nursery, April July 2016 (for Creative Futures 2016).


Brown, E. D., Benedett, B., & Armistead, M. E. (2010). Arts enrichment and school readiness for children at risk.

Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25, 112-124.


Brown, E. D., & Sax, K. L. (2013). Arts enrichment and preschool emotions for low-income children at risk. Early

Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 337-346.


Corbeil, M., Trehub, S.E., & Peretz, I. (2016). Singing Delays the Onset of Infant Distress. Infancy 21 (3): 373–91. doi:10.1111/infa.12114.


Corriveau, K.H., & Goswami, U. (2009). Rhythmic Motor Entrainment in Children with Speech and Language Impairments: Tapping to the Beat. Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior 45 (1): 119–30. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2007.09.008.


Cumming, R., Wilson, A., Leong, V., Colling, L.J., & Goswami, U. (2015). Awareness of Rhythm Patterns in Speech and Music in Children with Specific Language Impairments. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9

(December). doi:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00672.


DCSF [Department for Children, Schools and Families]. (2008a). Every Child a Talker: Guidance for Early Language

Lead Practitioners. Annesley, Notts: DCSF Publications.


DCSF [Department for Children, Schools and Families]. (2008b). Inclusion Development Programme Supporting children with speech, language and communication needs: Guidance for practitioners in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Annesley, Notts: DCSF Publications.


Degé, F., & Schwarzer, G. (2011). The Effect of a Music Program on Phonological Awareness in Preschoolers'.

Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience 2: 124. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00124.


DeVries, P. (2006). Being there: Creating music-making opportunities in a childcare centre. International Journal of Music Education, 24 (3), 255 – 270.


Elena, F., & Lopez, L. (2014). Rhythm Perception and Production Predict Reading Abilities in Developmental

Dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8: 392. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00392.

Gillespie, C. W. & Glider, K. R. (2010). Preschool teachers' use of music to scaffold children's learning and

behaviour. Early Childhood Development and Care, 180 (6), 799-808.


Gordon, R.L., Fehd, H.M., & McCandliss, B.D. (2015). Does music training enhance literacy skills? A meta- analysis. Frontiers of  Psychology: Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience.


Goswami, U., Huss, M., Mead, N., Fosker, T., & Verney, J.P. (2013). Perception of Patterns of Musical Beat Distribution in Phonological Developmental Dyslexia: Significant Longitudinal Relations with Word Reading and Reading Comprehension'. Cortex 49 (5): 136376. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2012.05.005.


Habib, M., Lardy, C., Desiles, T., Commeiras, C., Chobert, J. &  Besson, M. (2016). Music and Dyslexia: A New Musical Training Method to Improve Reading and Related Disorders. Frontiers in Psychology 7 (January). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00026.


Hallam, S. (2015). The power of music: A research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. Department of Culture, Communication and Media, UCL Institute of Education, University College, London: Music Education Council and International Music Education Research Centre (iMERC).


Hannon, E.E., Lévêque, Y., Nave, K.M., & Trehub, S.E. (2016). Exaggeration of Language-Specific Rhythms in

English and French Children's Songs. Frontiers in Psychology 7 (June). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00939.


Henriksson-Macaulay, L., & Welch, G.F. (2015). The musical key to babies' cognitive and social development.

International Journal of Birth and Parent Education. 2(2), 21-25


Henriksson-Macaulay, L., & Welch, G.F. (2016). Early Childhood Music Education From instinct to intelligence: the importance of music learning in building cognitive, emotional and social skills. In: D.L. Couchenour, & Chrisman, K. (Eds.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Contemporary Early Childhood Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. [to be published October 2016]


Hetland, L. (2000). Learning to make music enhances spatial reasoning. Journal of Aesthetic Education, Special

Issue, The Arts and Academic Achievement: What the evidence shows (Autumn-Winter, 2000), 34 (3/4), 179



Kirschner, S. & Tomasello, M. (2009). Joint Drumming: Social Context Facilitates Synchronization in Preschool

Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 102 (3): 299–314. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2008.07.005.


Kirschner, S. & Tomasello, M. (2010). Joint Music Making Promotes Prosocial Behavior in 4-Year-Old Children.

Evolution and Human Behavior 31 (5): 354–64. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.04.004.


Long, M (2014). 'I can read further and there's more meaning while I read': An exploratory study investigating the impact of a rhythm-based music intervention on children's reading. Research Studies in Music Education, 36 (1), 107 – 124.


Moreno, S., Bialystok, E., Barac, R., Schellenberg, E.G., Cepeda, N. J., & Chau, T. (2011). Short-Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function. Psychological Science 22 (11): 1425–33. doi:10.1177/0956797611416999.


Moreno, S., Marques, C., Santos, A., Santos, M., Castro, S.L., & and Besson, M. (2009). Musical Training Influences Linguistic Abilities in 8-Year-Old Children: More Evidence for Brain Plasticity. Cerebral Cortex 19 (3): 71223. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn120.

Patel, A. D. (2011). Why Would Musical Training Benefit the Neural Encoding of Speech? The OPERA Hypothesis.

Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience 2: 142. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00142.


Phillips, R. D., Gorton, R. L., Pinciotti, P., & Sachdev, A. (2010). Promising findings on preschoolers' emergent literacy and school readiness in arts-integrated early childhood settings. Early Childhood Education Journal,

38 (2), 111-122.


Portowitz, A., Lichtenstein, O., Egorova, L., & Brand, E. (2009). Underlying mechanisms linking music education and cognitive modifiability. Research Studies in Music Education, 31, 107-129.


Putkinen, V., Tervaniemi, M. & Huotilainnen, M. (2013). Informal musical activities are linked to auditory discrimination and attention in 2-3 year old children: an event-related potential study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37 (4), 654-661.


Roden, I. Grube, D. Bongard, S. & Kreutz, G. (2014). Does music training enhance working memory performance?

Findings from a quasi-experimental longitudinal study. Psychology of Music, 42, 284-298.


Swain, L. (2016). Report on collaborative project between Speech and Language Therapy and Creative Futures at

Katharine Bruce Nursery, January March 2016 (for Creative Futures, 2016).


Trehub, S.E., Ghazban, N., & Corbeil, M. (2015). Musical Affect Regulation in Infancy: Musical Affect Regulation in

Infancy. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1337 (1): 186–92. doi:10.1111/nyas.12622.


Welch, G.F. (2006). The musical development and education of young children. In B. Spodek & O . Saracho (Eds.), Handbook of Research on the Education of Young Children. (pp. 251-267). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.


Welch, G.F., & Henley, J. (2014). Addressing the challenges of teaching music by generalist schoolteachers.

Revista da ABEM [Associacao Brasiliera de Educacao Musical], 22 (32), 12-38.


Welch, G.F., Himonides, E., Saunders, J., Papageorgi, I., & Sarazin, M. (2014). Singing and Social Inclusion.

Frontiers in Cognitive Science 5: 803. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00803.


Welch, G.F., Saunders, J., Hobsbaum, A., & Himonides, E. (2012). Literacy through music: A research evaluation.

London: International Music Education Research Centre, Institute of Education [pp77].


Wetter, O.E., Koerner, F. & Schwaninger, A. (2009). Does musical training improve school performance?

Instructional Science, 37, 365-374.


Winsler, A., Ducenne, L., & Koury, A. (2011). Singing one's way to self-regulation: The role of early music and movement curricula and private speech. Early Education and Development, 22, 274-304.


Williams, K.E., Barrett, M.S., Welch, G.F., Abad, V., & Broughton, M. (2015). Associations between early shared music activities in the home and later child outcomes: Findings from the Longitudinal Study of Australian

Children. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 31, 113-124.



For more information about Music for Change, and Creative Futures, please contact:

Julian Knight or Vanessa Stansall, Creative Futures (UK) Limited

Tel: 020 8964 2700  E:

Company Registered in England No. 7578987. Registered Charity No.1143459