Image: Tiny Spark session 2017

Tiny Sparks

Tiny Sparks is 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 are delighted to continue this project with further support from our funders Youth Music. The programme is now in its third year and we are looking forward to taking up residencies in even more settings across the city this year.

2 Musicians have been taken on to visit 8 new settings during March to May:

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

We want to encourage more musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds to consider making work for early years children and their families. As part of the Tiny Sparks project we are looking for musicians who are interested in taking part in a two-day residency 'music lab' to explore ideas of making work with and for children 0-4 years.

The sessions will be led by our resident early years musicians Dave 'Stickman' Higgins and Mellow Baku, and will provide time and space to share and explore your own ideas and practice.

For more details and how to apply visit here.

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 aimed to support pre-school language development through music working with working with over 200 pre-school children, their parents and early years practitioners.

An additional strand this year incorporated a practical CPD training programme for teachers within early years settings in Leicester, plus a musicians early years development course open to artists across the region.

So far Tiny Sparks has worked with 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.


Resources created by the project were a CD of songs from Dave "Stickman" Higgins (sample below) and a book "Bang a Drum" with words & music by Arun Ghosh, illustrated by Juliet Kirby.

Supported by

Youth Music Arts Council logo

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