Volume 17 Number 20 May 28, 2016

Music, Language and Learning: Investigating the Impact of a Music Workshop Project in Four English Early Years Settings

Stephanie E. Pitts
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Citation: Pitts, S. E. (2016). Music, language and learning: Investigating the impact of a music workshop project in four English early years settings. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17(20). Retrieved from http://www.ijea.org/v17n20/.


The Soundplay project ran in four early years settings in Sheffield, UK, in 2014-15, using a series of music workshops to attempt to increase the music and language attainment of children aged two to four years. The associated research investigated the impact of the programme, using a combination of observation, music and language tracker tools, and interviews and written reports from the early years practitioners, parents and workshop leaders. The research demonstrated higher than average development in language skills amongst children who had been identified as being at risk of developmental delay, and also highlighted ways in which music helped to build confidence, social interaction and enjoyment. The confidence and engagement of the practitioners was supported through professional development, and end of project surveys showed how the practitioners had understood the potential of music for their children and had identified some strategies for including it in their future teaching. The project is evaluated here as a model for collaborative and embedded research, which contributes to the growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of music in early years settings.

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