Small Steps Big Noise schedule

Full conference schedule

Take Art is delighted to welcome academically respected Early Years Arts, Music and Education expert Dr. Susan Young, author of ‘Music with the Under Fours’ and ‘Music 3-5’ to deliver the Keynote speech to open Small Steps Big Noise, the South West’s biggest and brightest Early Years Conference. Susan is one of the UKs leading advocates for creative arts education, with particular reference to early childhood music.

In her keynote, she will challenge and enthuse everyone involved in Early Years creative practice and education, speaking of the vital imperative we all share to promote and articulate high quality inclusive practice.

She has decades of experience in academia, recently retired as senior lecturer from Exeter University and is an honorary research fellow with Roehampton University.  Susan is the current chair of MERYC-England and is still involved in Early Childhood Music as a researcher and consultant. She is Course Director of the new national Certificate for Music Educators: Early Childhood. Originally having trained as a pianist at the Royal College of Music, she spent her early career teaching music in secondary, primary and pre-school settings before achieving a PhD in Early Childhood Music from the University of Surrey.

Workshop and Seminar choices - these will need to be chosen before the event 

Workshop - Supporting Children’s Creativity with Richard Hughes - AM only

Looking at ways to support children’s creative thinking throughout the process of offering an open-ended activity. We will explore tools for supporting and extending children’s learning at every stage of this process. Using documentation and reflection to understand what each child is learning through their creative explorations and discussing how creative learning opportunities help to encourage meaningful communication with children.
Richard Hughes is a performance, visual and digital artist with long experience in working in Early Years settings

Workshop - Musical Play, playfully! with Ali Harmer

Part repertoire-sharing and part self-help group, this session will help us to be more playful in our approach to music with young children.
Taking on board the maxims “All children are musical” and “Children learn best through play” we will discover, through the medium of play and through insights from great pedagogues, philosophers, recent research and each other what Musical Play for young children looks and sounds like. How do we prepare our environment for musical play and how do we support that play? How can we take that play as a basis for group music and how does that musical play fit into the EYFS?
Having started as an Early Childhood Music Teacher in 1996, Ali Harmer has been researching musical play for around seven years and focussed on peer relationships during musical play in her Masters dissertation.

Workshop – Exploring how theatre can help develop children’s personal, social and emotional behavour with Nathan Curry Co-Artistic Director, Tangled Feet

The workshop will be a part practical, part discussion session looking at how the company makes their shows as well as exploring some of the theatre exercises that she company uses that can adapted and used with the children in your setting. There will also be a chance to discuss how theatre can be used to tackle challenging subjects for young children. Tangled Feet uses a playful, physical and exploratory style to create original theatre about meaningful subjects. Recently Tangled Feet have made two shows about the experience of specific young people - Need A Little Help, which focuses on Young Carers and Butterflies, which is about coping with anxiety when you are young.

Workshop - The prime areas of the EYFS with added SALTMusic with Dr Jessica Pitt and Sophie Fox

SALTMusic combines early childhood music with speech & language therapy expertise with the aim of devising a transformative pedagogy to help young children with communication difficulties and their families.  In this workshop, we offer some musical play ideas to assist young children’s Communication, Physical learning and Personal, social and emotional development.
Dr. Jessica Pitt is a music researcher and education consultant in the field of early childhood. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton Applied Music Research Centre.
Sophie Fox is an artist, initially trained in visual arts, she has worked in multi-artform participatory arts since finishing her MA in 2001. Her work brings together creative play, performance and music, working with very young children and their families

Workshop - Making sound through connections with Richard Tomlinson - PM only

Demonstrating how children can play sound (and play with sound) using a combination of digital technology, a bunch of bananas and a lot of imagination. Find out about the digital technology on offer for the Early Years and how it is accessible and easy to use 
Richard Tomlinson is a Somerset based artist specialising in digital media, film and photography. He has worked extensively within the participatory arts sector and, in particular, has developed experience of creative early years practice through Take Art’s Little Big Bang project. He currently works as a Creative Technologist for Somerset Film.

Soundwaves Extra - The Early Years Music Network for the South West - AM only
Caroline Barnes (evaluator) facilitating a feedback and discussion of various Soundwaves Extra projects across the South West. Soundwaves Extra Early Years Music practitioners and partners will present their case studies.

Seminar - Working together: creating sustainable collaborations between the EY and arts organisations. - PM only
Facilitated by Dr Karen Wickett - Lecturer and Joint Programme Lead BA Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth University
Rhona Matheson - Chief Executive Starcatchers, Rhona has extensive experience and understanding of arts and Early Years and has successfully developed relationships across arts, education, health and Third sectors locally, nationally and internationally. 
Zoe Greenhalgh - Zoe is an early childhood music educator, writer, researcher and consultant.  She has much experience of working with a wide variety of early childhood and community settings, parents, educators and carers and has a national reputation as a training provider for both early childhood, and music, practitioners.
Examples from Take Art’s Creative Elements project and Hopper Project

Hopper performance - Need A Little Help – Tangled Feet

Joe and Ella are a great team - they make each other laugh, help each other out and tackle all the chores their busy lives throw at them. But one morning things begin to change when Joe gets all tangled up and Ella has to do things alone. What will Ella do now? Will she be able to continue as before or will it all get too much? If only she had a little help...

Need A Little Help is a moving and uplifting show inspired by the experience of young carers for ages 3 – 7, exploring what it means to look after someone else when you are young. In a uniquely designed immersive space, the young audience help the performers look after each other, stepping into the shoes of young carers.

A Co Production with the Half Moon Theatre


Soundwaves Extra - The Early Years Music Network for the South West
Caroline Barnes, Dr Susan Young and Jane Parker presenting their evaluation findings on Soundwaves Extra, identifying challenges and opportunities through discussion.

Rhona Matheson is Chief Executive of Starcatchers, Scotland’s National Arts and Early Years organisation. They specialise in creating performances and exploring creative activity for babies, toddlers and young children aged 0-5 and the adults who care for them. Rhona began working with Starcatchers on the pilot project in 2006 and since then has been on an amazing journey with thousands of babies, toddlers, parents, carers, educators, artists and project partners.

She is an inspirational speaker who believes passionately in the transformational power of the arts to inspire Scotland’s youngest children and the people who care for them through creativity, performances and engagement projects. “10 years ago, people questioned what the point of theatre and creativity for babies was, in 2017, people question why there isn’t more.”
In this Keynote, she’ll help support us in our call to arms to make this work irrefutable.


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