Music to promote early language

Katy Mitchell. With thanks to Nicole Da Rocha for her support and advice.| View as single page | Feedback/Impact



The BBC website Tiny Happy People has ideas, tips and advice to help develop your child's communication at different ages through the pre-school years. It provides suggestions of nursery rhymes for babies and toddlers. This video shows how you can use home made instruments to create rhythms and interact with your child creating a musical beat.

This BBC web page has several of the most popular counting rhymes. It is a good way to learn the songs if you are not familiar with them!

The Elizabeth Foundation is a national charity supporting young children with all degrees of hearing loss to learn to listen and talk. Free access is provided to the 'Let's Listen and Talk!' online home learning and support programme.The Elizabeth Foundation provides information about 'Learning through Music'.


Music Development Matters in the Early Years supports parents, teachers and early years practitioners by providing ideas as to how they can support and nurture children's musical development by offering broad musical experiences.

The Arts Education Partnership has reviewed multiple research studies to explore the importance of music for students on their learning outcomes. It has been shown that music education in the form of learning a musical instruments enhances fine motor skills, improves working memory, vocabulary and thinking skills, promotes engagement and achievement in other subjects, develops attentiveness, perseverance, self-esteem and social and cultural identities.  

The benefits of learning a musical instrument have been collated in the Music Matters publication (Arts Education Partnership, 2018).




Child's Play Books
Child's Play is an international book company who reflect diversity and equality in everything they publish. They have a wide selection of books that can be used as visual resources to support singing many songs and nursery rhymes.   


Baby Board Books have been developed to use with many well-known songs and nursery rhymes, providing pictures to illustrate the language of the songs.



There are a number of baby board books for finger rhymes (e.g. Ten Little Fingers) and action songs (e.g.Pat-a-cake)



Sign & Singalong is a series of board books which feature signing to well known songs and nursery rhymes.


Hands-On Songs
is a series of books featuring popular songs and nursery rhymes with illustrations of actions to model to your child to accompany singing and pictures.



'Classic Books with Holes' is a series of books that feature many popular songs and nursery rhymes. The holes help to focus attention on a particular part of the song, to reinforce meaning and develop understanding.



There are a large number of songs and nursery rhymes in the 'Classic Books with Holes' series. The board books are ideal for sharing on a one-to-one, whilst the big books are great to use at nursery, as a visual aid, to add meaning to the language of the songs.



Several of the titles in this series are counting rhymes, with repetition to promote early language, whilst introducing and reinforcing the language of numbers in a fun way.



The 'First Book of Nursery Rhymes' has a selection of well-known nursery rhymes and songs in each of the 3 books in the series.



'Amazing Me!' books celebrate the creativity to be found in every child and sum up on the last page by saying 'We're amazing!'
The titles are great for promoting early singing, music and dance with simple language (e.g. Hands go clap, Feet go tap) with illustrations of children enjoying themselves together.



Child's Play also sells resources to add meaning to singing, such as these Old Macdonald finger puppets.






Arts Education Partnership (2018) Music Matters [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 17 April, 2021].

Burke, N (2018) Musical Development Matters in the Early Years. Early Educaion,The British Association of Early Childhood Education. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].