Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A seminar for musicians and educators in early childhood education


exploring musicality as an expressive language in early childhood education
A seminar for musicians and educators in early childhood education
Saturday February 13th 2010, 10 – 3.30
Newcastle University
Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building, Department of Music

An exploration of music, listening, meaning-making and creative pedagogy.

We aim to enable young children to become competent, enthused and empowered to use music as a way of expressing their ideas and communicating with one another.

This day will feature focussed project work, principles and visions for early childhood practice and leading international research into young children’s perceptions and musicality.  We warmly invite musicians working in early childhood education, early childhood educators, managers and policy-makers to a thought-provoking and illuminating day. The seminar will also launch Sightlines’ new Youth Music-supported two year project ‘Sound Sense’.

Professor Colwyn Trevarthen, who has recently co-authored the groundbreaking work ‘Communicative Musicality’ will explore the dynamics of children’s perceptions, senses and learning;
Nancy Stewart, Senior National Advisor for The National Strategy Team (Every Child a Talker) will explore educational practice supporting children’s vibrant communication.
Robin Duckett of Sightlines Initiative will describe the pedagogical approach which supports the co-constructed work of educators and musicians in project work - ‘Developing Environments of Enquiry’.
Catherine Reding, Musician, and Catherine Worton, Headteacher Trimdon Grange Nursery & Infant School, Durham will present  ‘The Sounds of Leaping’,  a project from the Youth Music-funded  Drama of Sound project, in which various early childhood settings and musicians worked with children’s ideas, and explored different ways of exploring musicality.

We look forward to your participation, Robin Duckett & Chris Holmes

The Sounds of Leaping

This work, with explores the reflective practice of a group of educators involved in a particular research focus, exploring children’s use of music and movement as expressive languages. It shows the evolution of children and adults thinking and experience, in the framework of a reflective cycle, and is an excellent tool for educators developing their reflective pedagogy.

“As educators, we wanted to develop our own competencies …we know that children are eager and ready to express themselves in many ways but that the language of musical expression can often be overlooked. As a team, we share in the belief that children are sociable and capable and full of curiosity and imagination. We want the school to be a place where the children can explore, develop and share their ideas to the full.
• How do children relate music and movement?
• What music can come from thinking, stories and movement?
• How could children create their own music using their movement ideas as a starting point?”
(This work is also presented on DVD available through Sightlines web bookshop. It will also be available at reduced cost to participants on the day.)

Communicative Musicality

explores the intrinsic musical nature of human interaction: it focuses on the rhythm and sympathy of musical expression in human communication from infancy. It demonstrates how speaking and moving in rhythmic musical ways is the essential foundation for all forms of communication, even the most refined and technically elaborated, just as it is for parenting, good teaching, creative work in the arts, and therapy to help handicapped or emotionally distressed persons.

Colwyn Trevarthen is Professor (Emeritus) of Child Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Edinburgh, where he has taught since 1971. At Harvard in the 1960s, he began research on infant communication that led to the discovery of the innate capacities for human intersubjective communication. His work at Edinburgh in the 1980s on the development of mother-infant interactions pioneered a theory of cultural learning. His published work covers neuropsychology, brain development, infant communication child learning, and emotional health and methods of education and therapy. He is interested in the natural motives and emotions children have for learning in companionship, and how parents and teachers may best support needs of young children. Colwyn is currently contributing his specialism in child development, music and dance, neuroscience to the Perception-Movement-Action Research Centre, Edinburgh, in addition to world-wide consultancy and in discussing Communicative Musicality.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (England)

Expects educating settings to develop reflective practice, seeing children as leaders in their own exploration and learning, recognising that educational practice is at its best when children’s ideas and dispositions are seen supported and developed

Sound Sense: Project Approach and Ethos

We will work with the children involved in Sound Sense by observing their interests and fascinations, and developing these ideas in a musical way. The children's ideas will shape what will take place: we are particularly interested in enabling children to express and develop their own ideas using music as a 'language of expression'. Educators and musician–colleagues, supported by Sightlines mentors, will work together to build new opportunities for the children’s enquiries and expression.

Drama of Sound – Communicative Musicality

Seminar, Saturday 13th February 2010 Application Form

Venue: Boyle Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University.
Cost: £55, to include light lunch.
(It is free to music leaders of pre-registered N.E. Schools Music Services – enquire of your Music Service to see if they have registered for ongoing CPD participation.)
Step 1: Fill in application form.
Step 2: Email copy of application to
Step 3: Print, sign, date and send form to Margaret Harding. (Please note we require a signed copy of the form before we can process your application)
Please type in all required fields marked by an *, and save a copy on your computer. 

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Procedures and Terms
·         Your application will be processed when we receive your signed form.
·         Closing date for signed application forms is 10th  February 2010. Late applicants should contact Sightlines Initiative directly to enquire of places.
Please print and sign a copy of your completed application form and send/fax  as soon as possible, and by 10th February 2010 to:
Margaret Harding ,Sightlines Initiative, 20 Great North Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4PS
Fax 0191 230 5556
Please also email a copy of this form to



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