Margaret had been working as a teaching assistant (TA) at Maytree Nursery in Lambeth, London for more than ten years when she took part in our Structured Training course for practitioners working with children under five. She was encouraged to go for the training by a music therapist with whom she had been running a music group for a couple of years at the nursery.

Although Margaret had been using music with young children for some time already, one of the most eye-opening things to come out of her Interactive Music-Making training was a deeper understanding of how music could be used to support children’s development.

I quickly noticed things I was doing in my usual music groups making sense on a different level – I understood why it was important to pause, have patience, give the children time to respond.

Following completion of the course, on a personal and professional level Margaret found her confidence and self-belief had increased. Whereas before she hadn’t had much experience of formal adult learning environments, she now attributes discovering a thirst for learning and studying to finishing our training.

Interactive Music-Making helped me properly understand why children do things… It boosted my ability to observe the children which helped me support them better.

This new-found confidence and has also had a positive impact on her status and level of responsibility within the nursery. Colleagues now regularly turn to Margaret for ideas and guidance, particularly with children experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress. It means the knowledge and skills Margaret gained from her training benefit not only her, but the other early years practitioners she works alongside and in turn the children they care for, too.

Doing Interactive Music-Making groups at Maytree also meant I could support my colleagues… The other TAs knew I had done Interactive Music-Making, so asked me about the child they were working with, and I could advise and model concepts to them.