What is Sound Communities?

Sound Communities is a course of CPD sessions for early years staff, led by Creative Futures early years music practitioners in areas of East Sussex, Essex, London and Luton for 3 years from 2018-2021. The programme aims to share some of the learning from Creative Futures’ collaborations between music practitioners, speech and language therapists and early years teachers as part of their ‘Music for Change’ project.

This website draws on the content created by Creative Futures music practitioners for the CPD sessions, theoretical background from I CAN and The Communication Trust, and the learning experiences of the early years teachers who have been involved in Sound Communities during 2018-19 with real life examples from their settings.

Sound Communities is a 3-year programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Who are we?

Creative Futures believes in the transformative power of creativity and the arts. We work with brilliant artist-educators, and with communities across London and the South East, particularly with very young children and their families in work that is strongly child-focussed, with music, story-telling, movement and play at their heart. Creative Futures is a registered charity.

The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations. Working together we support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication. Our work focuses on supporting children and young people who struggle to communicate because they have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) as well as supporting all children and young people to communicate to the best of their ability.

I CAN is a founding member and legal host of The Communication Trust, and the leading charity for children and young people’s speech, language and communication.

Paul Hamlyn Foundation was established by Paul Hamlyn in 1987. Upon his death in 2001, he left most of his estate to the Foundation, creating one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.

Our mission is to help people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, so that they can realise their potential and enjoy fulfilling and creative lives.

We have a particular interest in supporting young people and a strong belief in the importance of the arts

Sue Francioni, Foundation Stage Team Leader, Ramridge Primary School  

My Sound Communities Journey! 

Although I love listening to music, I have never been very confident in delivering music lessons to my Reception Class children and to be quite frank, I think I have little musicality! When my Headteacher suggested I sign up to the Sound Communities Programme, I was slightly bemused about what I could bring to it all and how I could then feedback it back to my team.  

I was horrified when I saw the selection of musical instruments out ready to use at the first session, but I very quickly found myself following the lead from the practitioner and before I knew it, I was actually creating music! The course provided me with lots of fun and inspiring ideas to encourage children to be creative and to also to recognise the importance that music plays in the Early Years Curriculum.  

I found the ‘Musical Development Matters in the Early Years’ document helpful in understanding what children need to be doing, as well as helping me to identify gaps in children’s development for hearing, listening, exploring and play. I will definitely be using this document alongside the new Early Years Early Adopter Curriculum this year to support learning and teaching.  

Finally, I want to say a big thank you to all of the staff involved on the programme; they did not judge my knowledge or singing voice! I feel that I now have more confidence in knowing what I am looking for, as well as being able to recognise children’s creativeness. I think music interweaves throughout many areas of child development, especially communication and this is so important given that my school is very multicultural. Music after all makes everyone smile! 

Nicola Burke

Lucy Drever

Kate Comberti

Penny Osmond


St Anne Line Infant School Sara Ager

Fairhouse Primary School Kristie Bradding

St Anne Line Infant School Lois Coulthard Angela Russell Zoe Williams

Cherry Tree Primary School Rebecca Farmer


Stroud Green Primary School Elly Agozino

Welbourne Primary School Pauline McLoughlin

The Willow Primary School Rob Ford

Tiverton Primary School Ruth Noel


Surrey street Primary School Debbie Cavanagh Jo Staniforth

Grasmere Nursery Karen Bye Jo Yang

Gill Blowers Nursery Launa Corin Stephanie Johnson Jodie Sharpe

Beech Hill Primary School Lorna Jackson

Pastures Way Nursery Toyin Oladapo Sandra Kirby-Daniels

Rothesay Nursery Helen Lodge

East Sussex

Owlets Nursery Shannon Dean

Copperfields Nursery Kirsty Duncan   Shinewater Primary School Katie Harrison   The Bourne Primary School Kelly Hitch   West Rise Primary School Faye Lawrence   Langney Primary School Mark Townsend   Shinewater Primary School Val Wilkinson


Christ Church Primary School

Natasha Mitchell

Amy Adams

The Baird Primary Academy

Nicole Joy

Jayne Ashworth

Claire Kennedy

Alicia Mills

Hollington Primary Academy

Abbie Saxby

Michelle Hoath

Clare Haddock

Sandown Primary School 

Emma Smith

Ore Church Mice Preschool

Glen Russell

Churchwood Primary Academy

Kelly Simpson


Hinguar Primary School

Donna Whitehead

Nicola Newman

Southend Children’s Centre

Eleanor Clarke

Richmond Avenue Primary School 

Haley Cantwell

Richmond Avenue Primary School  

Emma Swain

Little Fishes Preschool

Jennie Ashton

Poppets Preschool

Nicola Aruvera

Friars Primary School  

Elaine Bennett

Friars Primary School 

Sarah Glen


West Lodge Primary School   

Sanne Aldrich

Belmont School

Claudine Moore

Dairen Llodra Ruiz

Priti Vyas

Fiona Dickins

Whitefriars School  

Tracy Terry

Heathland School    

Rupal Bhattraj

Camrose Primary School   

Jeny Bryson


Whitefield Primary Academy 

Lizzie Wheeler

The Ferrars Academy

Kirsty Armstrong

Southfield Primary School  

Kevin Kelly

Hillborough Infant School  

Joanna Green

Chapel Street Nursery     

Lisa Chandra

Ramridge Primary School    

Stephanie Carroll

Sue Francioni

Lesley-Anne Love

Beechwood Primary School

Jen Scott