Early Years Music

Music education at Devonshire House starts early and, throughout the whole school, is lead by passionate and dedicated professionals who monitor children’s progress carefully and methodically. As part of their foundation musical development Early Years children follow a programme largely based on a well – established and highly regarded method developed by Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), a prominent Hungarian composer, musician, teacher, linguist, and ethnomusicologist, who dedicated most of his creative life to musical education

Children’s hands hitting bongo drums

From a very early age, well before reading music and playing orchestral instruments, children learn to use their singing voices as the most accessible instrument and develop their basic vocal and instrumental skills. They develop their ability to follow a simple melody and rhythm, recognise and read simplified sol-fa rhythm notation, musical memory, inner hearing, listening skills, diction and co-ordination and thus, get acquainted with the main components of music. They also experience the sheer joy and excitement of sharing  and making music!

Programme of Study for Music in the Early Years

Kodaly methods and Dalcroze Eurythmics are used throughout the whole Programme of Study for the Early Years and form the basis of the approach.

Oak Tree Nursery

The aim of the Music programme at this age is to build confidence and encourage a positive response to musical stimuli. Children take part in group singing and rhythm sessions focusing on simple songs within a comfortable singing range. Children will start to use un-tuned percussion and explore their sounds in controlled activities. They are encouraged to identify high and low, fast and slow and loud and soft in music. The children give a performance of their work at the end of the Christmas and Summer Terms.

Pre Reception

Children are encouraged to use their singing voices with more confidence and control and to use the entire space of the classroom to move around in time with the music. Using the Kodaly system, children begin to learn simple intervals (so-mi) more formally. They continue to use a range of un-tuned percussion instruments to explore rhythm and sound. They are encouraged to find high and low, loud and soft, long and short and fast and slow. They work on finding the steady beat in simple rhythm work. They perform in two concerts at Christmas and in the Summer Term, as well as taking part in Harvest and Easter Assemblies.


Building on their knowledge of the Kodaly method, children continue to explore simple melodies and songs within a comfortable singing range. They work on intonation and internalizing intervals and songs. The children use tuned and un-tuned percussion in their lessons to think about rhythm and pitch. They begin to learn to read written rhythmic notation and respond using body percussion and movement. There is a focus on the steady beat and maintaining the same pace in music through playing instruments and singing. They revisit high and low, soft and loud, fast and slow and short and long in music. They perform in two concerts at Christmas and in the Summer Term, as well as taking part in Harvest and Easter Assemblies.