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As you may have seen in our previous blogs, we have been discussing our Sustainable Early Years Music (SEYM) project over the last few weeks before we present our work about it at the Training the Community Music running today and tomorrow.

Since inception in 2019, we are delighted to say that we have absolutely proved the concept and that we are consistently delivering sessions across over ten settings – currently, we are in schools or nurseries at least four times a week. It is fantastic to see that these settings see the value in the work and want it to continue. 

From the very beginning, the aim underpinning the work with SEYM was rooted in a desire to reach every child with complex needs in the widest variety of settings. Having developed the idea in schools and nurseries, we now want to work with parents, parent led organisations and organisations that support parents. 

As we prepare for this work, we have much to consider. Working directly with parents is a much more complex and flexible way of working. If, for example, we are working in a school or nursery, there are fixed hours when we might attend, and there might be a specific curriculum being followed. Where parents attend school sessions with their children – much in the way that the stay and play sessions used to run with Sure Start – we want to include those parents in the knowledge exchange on an ongoing basis, developing knowledge of things they can do with their child at home. A key part of working with children – with complex needs or without – is to recognise that to support the child, you must support the parent.

How would this work with families attending day centres together? Ultimately we want to extend the parental engagement that is developed by education settings and bring families into the fold – they too can support music making, allowing children to access music far more frequently.

We are also exploring questions about music at home – what does that look like, how does it happen? Home could be a rich and supportive environment for the families which include children with complex needs – how can we support them to make the most of it?

As we said when we started writing about SEYM, music matters. It matters to us all. We are incredibly proud to have worked with so many amazing people who, like us, want to ensure that engagement with music, whatever that might be, is available to children with complex needs. 

If you are part of any kind of educational establishment for children, or a group supporting parents and families, and this is something you want to do too, our flexible model is ready and waiting for you! Get in touch and let’s have a chat.

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