Image: Tiny Spark session 2017

Tiny Sparks

A 10-week Early Years residency working across Leicester city in partnership with the Children, Young People and Family Centres (CYPFC). This project supports quality music provision - developing skills, confidence and a culture of creativity and play, with children aged 0-4 years.

We were delighted to continue this project with further support from our funders Youth Music. The programme has now completed its third year and so far Tiny Sparks has worked with over 1,000 children and their families, with 98% of participating children showing an improvement in their language skills on the register of Stages of Confident Speaking.

2 Musicians visited 8 new settings during March to May 2019:

David 'Stickman' Higgins - A world class, multi-disciplined, drummer and percussionist, also a poet, actor, educator, conceptual artist and father. Involved in creating and delivering a wide range of innovative arts projects since the mid 1980's.

Mellow Baku - Artist, writer and composer of song, spoken word and jazz, her performances range from soulful folk, jazz and to digital soundscapes and poetry. Mellow sees performances as magical opportunities for people including herself to connect, share, provoke and explore.

Music Lab - April 2019

Musician CPD Programme - Creating possibilities for early years children and their families

On 15 & 16 April 2019 we ran a Musician CPD programme to encourage more musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds to consider making work for early years children and their families.

The sessions were led by our resident early years musicians Dave 'Stickman' Higgins and Mellow Baku, providing time and space to share and explore ideas and practice.

Symposium - The Importance of Music in Early Years development

The Spark, in partnership with Talent25, ran a national symposium to explore the importance of music and musical play within early childhood development. The day provided inspiring ideas, game changing case studies and practical workshops.

The symposium explored the national landscape, reflecting on current practice and considering new developments sharing the latest research and innovative practice with talks from key note speakers Dr Jessica Pitt, Phd, lead researcher with Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC), Lecturer in Music Education at the Royal College of Music and Lead Tutor on the MA in Early Years Music at Birmingham University and Nicola Burke Associate of the British Association of Early Education and a core member of the London Early Years Music Network (LEYMN).

It also showcased and celebrated The Spark's work delivered locally through Tiny Sparks.


Resources created by the project are available here.

They include a songbook with CD by Dave 'Stickman' Higgins 'Rhythm Song Express' . A YouTube album for pre-school children 'Mmm Ahhh Whoosh' by Mellow Baku and 'Bang a Drum' a book with words & music by Arun Ghosh, illustrated by Juliet Kirby.

Last year...

Musicians Arun Ghosh (an acclaimed clarinettist, composer, musical director) and Dave 'Stickman' Higgins worked with children's centres and nurseries in north and central Leicester.

This 10 week residency supported over 200 pre-school children, their parents and early years practitioners.

Supported by

Youth Music Arts Council logo

Youth Music, John & Susan Bowers Fund, Open Gate Trust, Edith Murphy Foundation