Music for Change
Music for Change is one of Creative Futures’ largest Early Years initiatives. Its first two phases ran from 2014-2018. Further phases are being planned.
A pilot at a nursery in Queen’s Park, north Westminster in 2014 lead to a two-year project across 3 wards in 2015-17 involving 11 settings, 11 music leaders, 1300 children, 870 workshop sessions, 7 concert performances and numerous CPD sessions.
Through various different strands of delivery, including weekly whole-day visits by music leaders, CPD sessions, live performances, and a collaboration with NHS Speech and Language Therapists, the project had a particular focus on enhancing children’s communication skills through music. We adopted a co-design and co-delivery model, working with music leaders and Early Years Professionals together to support child-initiated musical play, adult-guided music-making and the creation of musical environments.
Read the Music for Change 2015-17 Report including extracts from the research evaluation carried out by Professor Graham Welch (UCL Institute of Education) and Professor Adam Ockelford (University of Roehampton).
From 2017, Music for Change ventured beyond Westminster to other London boroughs including Harrow and Hackney, and further afield to East Sussex, Essex and Luton. One of the aims of this second phase was to explore shorter and more scalable delivery models.
A further strand of the project in 2016/17 explored how music can support children’s executive function, a collection of skills which underpin learning and well-being such as working memory, inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility. An 8-week music intervention was trialled in a number of formats at one of the participating nursery schools, with an indication of positive results particularly in the domain of inhibitory control. The project was researched by Alice Bowmer and Dr Kathryn Mason, under the guidance of Professor Welch. An article about the findings was published in Frontiers in Psychology, and can be found here.