The Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood Course

17 May 2021

The Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood course is now in its fifth year and there is much to celebrate here in the South West! 

Congratulations to Eliza Wylie, Joe Cooper, Roger Luxton, Jacqui Ross, Julia Hurley and Jude Cummins who are now all qualified as Early Childhood Music Educators. For anyone interested in applying, let's find out their insights of doing the course and how their practice has benefitted.

I highly recommend this course for anyone with an interest in Early Childhood music. The excellent Core Learning Days and amazing team of mentors have provided me with the knowledge and skills I needed to confidently develop an Early Years Music Strategy in my area.

Jude Cummins (Early Years Music Lead for Plymouth Music Education Hub)

The CME:EC team are absolutely at the top of their game in their own professional ECME practice. The course has given me the confidence and ability to now do an MA!

Roger Luxton (Professional Musician, Studio Owner, Music Educator, Early Years Music Practitioner & MA Music Therapy Student, Cornwall)

I really loved doing this course, from the Core Learning Days when I finally met other people as passionate as myself about musical education for children in the early years, to the research and personal growth that has come from my studies. Go for it - you won’t regret it!

Jacqui Ross (Nursery Nurse and SENDco at The Pepperbox Nursery, Frome, Somerset)

I had been teaching many years with various music qualifications, but this course has completely changed my approach when working musically with very young children and babies.

Eliza Wylie (Independent Music Educator, Hop Skip and Sing, MA Music Therapy Student, Somerset)

Do the course because you can get to the next level as an EY practitioner ....and your setting children deserve it! 

Joseph ‘Joe’ Cooper (Key Person & Music Lead at Redcliffe Nursery School, Bristol)

In conversation with two Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood students: Eliza Wylie and Amy Hardwick.

Eliza Wylie

Amy Hardwick

How did you find out about the course? 


A mixture of recommendations from two previous South West based students Liv McLennan (who has now gone on to do a PhD) and Georgia Bourne when I attended Take Art’s ‘Small Steps Big Noise’ Conference in 2018 ....and a long chat with Jane Parker, the course’s mentor for the South West! I was keen to be part of a supportive and inclusive Early Childhood Music learning community that would move me forwards in my practice. Despite many years of experience as an Early Years music facilitator running classes for families, I had reached an impasse in my practice. I was after a thorough approach to a course that encouraged me to really question and understand why I was doing what I was doing.


 I found out about the course whilst browsing the buffet table at Take Art’s conference on the European project RIOTE2 (Rural Inclusive Outdoor Theatre Education)! In fact since then I have learnt many things over sharing food at Take Art events! I was just coming out of a15 year career as a teacher of Drama and was looking at options, I still wanted to work with children in the arts but away from prescriptive curriculums. Gina Westbrook from Take Art and Dr Karen Wickett from The University of Plymouth both suggested the course. I contacted the South West course tutor / mentor Jane Parker and after a wealth of information was emailed to me, I went to observe Jane and Eliza Wylie working together at an Early Years setting in Yeovil on The SoundWaves Network project ... chatted over more food with them....and was convinced immediately!

How has your practice benefitted from the course? 


In short it has completely transformed for the better! The main change is I have become a reflective practitioner. The course really pushed me to take the time to step back and really take notice of young children’s spontaneous musical behaviours. Whilst doing the course I had the opportunity to also work alongside my mentor, Take Art’s The SoundWaves Project Lead Jane Parker. The project was set up for early years music practitioners to work in pairs to ensure it gave a far richer reflective experience for all involved. Jane taught me many things including to talk less, notice more and slow down! 


My practice has also completely changed. I used to run a very adult-led music session for my local toddler group. The course does not promote one particular approach but will encourage you to develop your own style of practice. At CREC, sessions included learning about the Kodaly approach with Zoe Greenhalgh and Dalcroze approach with Dr Susan Young. This made me reflect on appropriate playful musical activities for babies and very young children, helping me understand why the material was suitable and which musical skills they taught. I now consider applying assessments for learning, inclusivity and the importance of observation. It wasn't just the tutors that taught us but also you are placed in a supportive community of learning with students from across the country, I also feel really privileged to have learnt from and alongside a mixture of highly skilled practitioners from both the early years sector and the music sector in my cohort. Added to this, I enrolled for the course 12 months after Eliza, so like in her first 12 months she worked alongside an experienced mentor (Jane) in two Early Years settings on a Youth Music funded project, similarly when I did the course I was placed to co-facilitate alongside the now very experienced Eliza on the second year of the project! 

Any final words? 


Do the course! You won’t regret it. Thanks to Sound Foundation Somerset (my local music hub) and Take Art for supporting me. 


I would thoroughly recommend the course. You get to attend four terrific Core learning days at CREC (or online mid pandemic!). You will also receive spectacular support from all tutors throughout the entire course...and indeed still continuing after! And yes – I echo Eliza’s words. Huge thanks to our local music hub and Take Art for the incredible opportunity.

Further information on the course and application process is hereCurrent applications are now open to start the next course this Autumn 2021. 

Please be aware this is a popular course with limited spaces available. If you are interested and based in the South West, email jane@takeart.orgno later than 5pm 1st July 2021. We look forward to hearing from you!