Following the launch of Tri-Music Together, the Royal College of Music runs two Mini Sparks programmes in local communities. We know how much families value learning how to listen in the truest sense, to tune-in and play with their children through music. This can raise self-esteem and confidence and can heighten a child’s ability to focus, listen and contribute with others over time. It also teaches and promotes healthy attachment and communication methods between parents and children through play.
Angel Nursery, Churchill Gardens Housing Estate, Pimlico
We ran a successful pilot of four sessions in Angel Nursery (a London Early Years Foundation nursery) in Autumn 2017 and continued with weekly sessions in the Spring and Summer terms of 2018.
Led by Trish Power and supported by a team of Royal College of Music musicians, the programme has provided an opportunity for nursery children to experience a wide range of musical instruments being played live, including accordion, trombone, saxophone, violin and harp, whilst also giving the Royal College of Music students the opportunity to train in delivering early years music.
The weekly sessions holistically utilise the whole of the nursery space, including the garden. The team have the opportunity to work with all of the children and the staff in the nursery, but in particular Sue Endean, who, at the start of the project, was appointed as the nursery’s Music Champion.
Angel Nursery website
‘It’s inspired me and lit up my musical soul.’
Old Oak Children’s Centre in Old Oak Housing Estate in East Acton
Led by Mayo Yoshida and supported by two Royal College of Music students, this programme takes a child-centred approach, placing spontaneous, playful and creative music making at the heart of their musical learning. Key to the success of the scheme is encouraging communication through music. The programme, which is in its second year at Old Oak and third year overall, has been particularly beneficial for families engaging with the centres’ Talk and Learn programme, which supports children with speech and language delay.
Old Oak Children's Centre website
'Mayo is one of the best educators I have met, her method supports both the child and the parent/carer in developing their relationship deeper. This is the most effective class we ever attended.'
'I feel empowered to provide a more nourishing environment for my son. Our communication and relationship is stronger because of these sessions.'
'Such an amazing course in which truly promotes individuality and confidence.'
'We wait the whole week for it!'
'It’s been a lovely way to expose them to instruments that they wouldn't have access to otherwise. The boys particularly enjoyed listening to the cello.'
Golborne & Maxilla Children’s Centre, Ladbroke Grove
Led by Becky Dixon and supported by two Royal College of Music students, this new programme, launched in January 2019, is based on creative storytelling and music, with a focus on live instrumental music.
Golborne & Maxilla Children's Centre website