An exploration of a single setting’s approach to the provision of music alongside investigating practitioner’s perceptions of what constitutes music in an early education setting


  • Tertia Leigh Meakin Nottingham Trent University


Music, Early Years, Beneficial, Perceptions, Recognition


This small-scale research project uses mixed methods to explore how a single setting’s approach to music provision in the early years reflects current literature. It specifically investigates their approach to music, practitioner’s perceptions of music, and the potential barriers to the inclusion of music in the early years, through the use of primary and secondary research methods, alongside using participatory methods to take into account the voice of the child. It analyses the setting’s effectiveness of music provision and makes sense of why they use this approach, in order to inform future research and early years practice.

The research shows how beneficial engaging in musical activities is for young children, which is supported by the literature. Singing and group music sessions became a common theme throughout the setting’s approach to music provision, which is contradicted by the literature to an extent, as although this is an effective way to engage children in music, opportunities to explore music through carefully planned activities during free-play also need to be experienced. Hiring an external professional and the effectiveness of this is also explored, and questions arise around practitioner’s perceptions of music linking to government priorities.

This study brings to attention the importance of music in the early years, and hopes to contribute to the body of research surrounding the idea that music needs to be more recognised in early childhood education. It also proposes some ideas for further research surrounding music being a specialist subject and something you have to be a specialist in to teach, which can be considered as another barrier to the inclusion of music in the early years.





Nottingham Institute of Education