National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

Songs for Early Years: Sue Hollingworth's top ten


Sue Hollingworth

The first half of the session  will be practical and delegates will have a chance to sing and explore Sue's ten essential songs for Early Years music making.

As well as singing and playing the games, we will discuss the learning opportunities possible from each song and also ways in which young children might incorporate them into their own play.

Copies of the songs and a CD to take home will be available.

The second half of the session will be a 'song share'. Participants will have an opportunity to post song ideas on day one of the conference. Good ideas will be shared for all.


A Graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music where she studied voice , Sue Hollingworth divides her time between  her work as a Choral Director  and Music Educator. In 1990 she was awarded a Churchill fellowship for her work with  choirs. In 2010, she was awarded "Choir Master of the Year"  by the Gramophone Magazine. This is a community music award, given to those who have made the greatest impact in their singing communities.

She is  Musical Director of the Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir. This open access choir won the overall title of BBC3 Choir of the Year in 2008. They took t part in the BBC Proms in September 2009 singing Messiah and received rave reviews. In 2000 they travelled to Sydney to take part in the Olympic Torch Processions, they sang at the opening night celebrations of the Millennium Dome  and at the first Holocaust Memorial Service at Westminster. The Choir  was  chosen to make  a BBC programme called "Take a Bow" about interesting activities children do after school and was  the subject of a documentary on Radio 4. Recently, younger members of the choir made recordings for the Sing Up magazine and website.

Sue is Musical Director of the Sine Nomine International Touring Choir. All members of this choir are themselves choral directors  and  in recent years the choir has been the guest choir at Presteigne Festival , performed   at the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester  and international festivals in Italy. Sue has also conducted the Minster Minstrels Vocal Ensemble for the National Centre of Early Music. With this organisation, she conducted 550 York school children at the Schools Proms to Celebrate the 350th Anniversary of Henry Purcell. In December, BBC Radio 3 invited Sue to lead performances of the Hallelujah Chorus in Glasgow and London with participants who are new to singing and who were encouraged to join a choir. For the BBC, she also conducted an afternoon Family Prom at the Albert Hall sharing the direction with Julia Regan, a former member of the Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choir.

Sue has worked for the National Youth Choirs of Scotland and Great Britain and is a guest conductor for Leeds Lieder and The National Centre for Early Music .

 Sue's Music Education work includes creating Melody Monkey's Marvelous Music Box with Cathy Dew  (this is an Early Years Resource) being an Advocate for Sing Up, working for the Voices Foundation and  she regularly gives workshops for Making Music, 20,000 Voices and  Sing for Pleasure. She has adjudicated for BBC3 Choir of the Year, Coleraine, Elgin and Don Valley festivals.