Nicola strongly feels that everyone is born musical and an integral part of early childhood is music making.  Nicola plays the piano, keyboard and trumpet and has performed in various orchestras and bands both nationally and internationally.

I have over 20 years of experience working across the early childhood education, arts and culture sectors. I have an MA in Early Childhood Music Studies and I am an Associate of Early Education.

Currently I am the strategic leader of Tri-Music Together and Sounds of Play. These are both large workforce development projects involving a range of arts and music organisations and Early Childhood services, across London and Birmingham, England.

I created the award-winning Tune into Listening  free online resource and in 2018 wrote Musical Development Matters in the Early Years (MDM), a free downloadable resource to complement the English, Early Childhood framework, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

I am also currently the Subject Matter Expert for the Saudi Arabian Music Commission leading on the implementation of Early Childhood music across the kingdom.

I have worked on a wide range of Early Childhood music projects and with a range of arts organisations including the Royal Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as well as the BBC.

Nicola’s work includes:

EYFS Strategic Lead, Tri-borough Music Hub, London.

I am thrilled to be currently leading a project initiated and led by the award winning Tri-borough Music Hub. The aim of the Tri-Music Together project is to develop a sustainable network of outstanding Early Years music practice between Early Years settings and a consortium of Tri-borough Music Hub partner organisations to support children’s creative and musical entitlement through workforce development, targeted activity, and evaluation. All partners expect that the project will be a beacon for how all Music Education Hubs nationally can work with Early Years settings and practitioners.

Associate of the British Association for Early Childhood Education

As an Associate Nicola delivers consultancy and training for authorities and settings across the country.

Moonbeams, Member of the Steering Group and Artist Pedagogista

Moonbeams was a programme of CPD events for the Early Years sector that took place across the Midlands during 2016-2017.  A strand of the programme was a year long course for Early Years practitioners and artists to work together to develop their understanding around educational development through the arts. Nicola’s role as Artist Pedagogista was to support all practitioners and artists throughout the course. Nicola also managed the Moonbeams National Conference on Arts & Creativity in EY, details can be found here.

Trainer for Camden Early Years

Camden EY has commissioned Nicola to deliver her 3 day course for Early Years practitioners in the Camden borough. The aim of the course is to develop practitioner’s skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to lead and develop the music provision within their settings.

Creative Childhoods, Project Coordinator

Creative Childhoods was a project exploring creativity and reflective practice in Early Years through an extensive programme of seminars, workshops and settings visits, followed by an exhibition that toured within a variety of settings in Birmingham.

Mac makes music, Evaluator

Nicola’s role involved evaluating music making projects that were delivered as part of the mac makes music programme.

Bordesley Green East Nursery and Children’s Centre, Artist in Residence

Nicola worked with staff and children in the nursery class using music to support the development of communication and language.  The role involved working with staff to develop the music provision as well as support them in their creative, reflective practice.

 Instruments & Movement, Musician

Nicola jointly led an action research project in a setting in Tower Hamlets, London. The research investigated Enabling Musical Environments and the effect that musical instruments had on young children’s movements.

Music Fusion, Early Years Tutor

Music Fusion commissioned Nicola and two other Early Years Music Tutors to write an accredited course in Music for Early Years for practitioners working with children aged 0-3 years. The course was titled Early Years Music Leader (0-3) and was accredited through the Open College Network at credit level 2.

Musical Moonbeams, action research project, Musician

This project was influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach and the aim was to embed creative music making into children’s centres.

Musical Babiestraining programme, Trainer

The aim of the programme was to train early years practitioners and musicians to deliver engaging music sessions for parents and babies aged 0-2 and to develop their understanding of the benefits of music making for this age group.

Birmingham Early Years Cluster Programme, Lead trainer

Nicola worked with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Conservatoire and Children’s Centres in Birmingham as part of a training programme. The programme was funded by Youth Music and the aim was to develop the orchestral musician’s and Conservatoire student’s skills to enable them to work within early years settings.

© 2000-2021 Nicola Burke