The Spark champions learning through music for the under 5s

Posted: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 16:00

The Spark champions learning through music for the under 5s

The Spark Arts for Children awarded £95,390 grant by Music charity to launch a new Early Years Music network for the city and county.

Leicester charity, The Spark Arts for Children, has been awarded £95,390 from Youth Music, using public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England to support musicians and early years practitioners to be 'music champions'. The project will promote the role music plays in the development of children aged 0 - 4 years through a newly created Leicester/shire Music Champions & Early Years Music Network.

There is strong evidence to suggest that music has a direct impact on a child's communication and language development. In 2019, The Spark's Tiny Sparks music project, supporting children from early years, recorded 98% of participating children showed an improvement on the register of Stages of Confident Speaking.

Liza Foster, The Spark Early Years Programme Manager said

"Music is a vital part of the learning of under 5s, supporting communication and language as well as personal, social and emotional development. Musical play experiences encourage the best early learning and ensure that children flourish. I strongly believe this programme will have a long lasting impact on Leicester/shire's children and families."

Kay Hardiman, Director, Talent 25 added

"Talent 25 is looking forward to being part of this exciting programme. The families who are part of our research study have told us how much they and their babies have enjoyed music sessions and would like more, particularly music and stories from different cultures. This project gives families an opportunity to work collaboratively with great musicians and expert early years practitioners, helping more children have really special musical experiences in their early lives."

To champion learning through music the network will provide training and networking for both professional musicians and early years practitioners. The programme will partner 10 professional musicians - including 2 from the Philharmonia Orchestra's Emerging Artist's programme, with early years professionals working with pre-school children in nurseries, schools and libraries.

A programme of music workshops for under 5s will take place across the city and county between February-June 2022.

The partners working together to ensure the children under 5 who need music the most in their lives include The Spark Arts for Children, Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub, Leicester City Council Neighbourhood Services, Leicester City Council Early Help Services, Talent25/DMU, Philharmonia Orchestra, The City Classroom and The Mighty Creatives.

This new network will give musicians and early years practitioners the opportunity to meet and share experiences and learning. Anyone interested in hearing more should contact Liza Foster at The Spark liza@thesparkarts.co.uk

Tags: Tiny Sparks, early years, music champions, network