National Centre for Early Music

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All Aboard

All Aboard Project Report can be downloaded from the link below
All Aboard Project Report.pdf

All Aboard was a creative music project, which used Apollo Ensemble technology to engage very young children, aged 3-5 years old, in musical composition through play and storytelling.

Music4U's famous Melody Monkey character told children a story that took her on a musical journey, encountering different sounds and landscapes on the way, in order to guide these young musicians through an exploration of the technology, which was embedded within soft play equipment. Children were then encouraged to use the sounds from these stories, as well as their own imaginations, to create new soundscapes and compositions.

All Aboard was designed to provide early years children with:
  • hands-on access to musical building blocks
  • opportunities to learn about and make decisions on structure
  • chances to learn and develop turn-taking
  • skills in recognising and creating patterns
  • opportunities to practice starting/stopping at appropriate points
  • the chance to follow a leader and be a leader themselves
  • a sense of ownership and pride in their work

The project, led by NCEM Education Consultant Cathryn Dew, initially visited several early years settings in the York area. The project was subsequently rolled out as two three-session pilot projects, in St Paul's Nursery in York and Lincoln Gardens Primary in North Lincolnshire, led by community musicians Rebecca Gross and Chris Bartram, with support from students on the University of York's MA in Community Music.