Common Ground, in partnership with Early Childhood Ireland and The Base in Ballyfermot, initiated an Early Years Music Pilot Tiny Voices from March to July 2012 in the Dublin 8 and 10 areas.
Over a 16 week period, two professional musicians, Eamon Sweeney and Thomas Johnston, facilitated weekly music sessions with child care practitioners and groups of children aged from three to five. They took place in The Base in Ballyfermot and Goldenbridge crèche in St. Michael’s Estate, Inchicore.
Each week, the musicians led the young children in energetic music sessions. They introduced music in the form of play, familiarising the children with aspects of music such as pitch, tone and beat. While the children became accustomed to different types of music, they were also exposed to live musical instruments, such as the classical guitar, ukulele, uilleann pipes and low whistle.
The programme was researched and documented in association with St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and UCC’s music department.
Musician Thomas Johnston with the children during one of the sessions in The Base
Tiny Voices aims are to:
– promote enquiry and creative modes of expression and communication in children, through the dominant art form of music.
– create a community of practice, whereby knowledge and skills are shared. Within this community, an exchange occurs, where the child learns alongside the artist and vice versa; the childcare practitioner learns alongside the artist (and vice versa) and parents learn alongside the artist / childcare practitioner.
– rigorously document, research and evaluate the pilot and disseminate the learning to the wider childcare community, so that ‘exemplars of ‘music in practice’ can be shared.
– allow artists and childcare practitioners to develop their own practice
– enrich Aistear; the Early Childhood Cirriculum Framework, by evidencing examples of children encountering music that link directly to the Aistear themes e.g: well-being, identity and belonging, communication and exploring and thinking.
The research and findings from the project was published and launched in April 2013 by singer, songwriter and composer Julie Feeney.
You can read TINY VOICES – an Early Years music research report here.