Nicola Burke

Nicola Burke

Early Education Associate

Nicola Burke is an author, strategic leader, researcher, consultant and accredited ICF Personal & Professional Performance Coach, with a Master’s in Education. She has over 24 years of experience specialising in creating professional development programmes for individuals and organisations nationally and internationally. Nicola has led award winning research in listening, large workforce development projects for organisations globally, and coached leaders from a range of sectors on a 1-1 basis. In 2018, Nicola wrote Musical Development Matters in the Early Years, a free downloadable resource to complement the EYFS guidance material, Development Matters in the EYFS. Nicola works nationally and internationally to strategically support organisations and settings to develop their workforce, programmes, and practice on a range of topics and areas.

Areas of expertise​

  • Musical Development in Early Childhood

  • Music within the Prime and Specific areas of the EYFS

  • The Characteristics of Effective Learning – in Music

  • Enabling Musical Environments

  • Effective planning for music making

  • Observing and documenting children’s musical play

  • Music and communication

Personal development and communication courses for leaders and educators:

  • The art of conversation

  • Effective communication in the workplace

  • Perspective seeking and understanding others

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Self-care and wellness

  • 1-1 and group Coaching for leaders and educators

Sample courses

Musical Development Matters in the Early Years

This one-day course is accompanied by Musical Development Matters, a free guidance that is available to download from Early Education. The course not only introduces participants to the guidance but also demonstrates how easily music can be incorporated into any early childhood setting without practitioners needing any previous musical knowledge or experience. This course will be workshop style, fun and informative, exploring ways in which music compliments and contributes to all areas of learning and development.

Developing your music practice and provision

In this session participants will be introduced to a free self-evaluation tool that enables practitioners to self-evaluate the music provision and practice in their setting. Participants will be offered lots of practical ideas and suggestions to support them to create a rich musical setting that nurtures all areas of children’s learning and development. The session will include planning for music in continuous provision and planning for adult led music sessions.

Creating Enabling Musical Environments

In this course participants will be encouraged to reflect on music making and music listening opportunities within their continuous provision. Participants will be offered lots of practical ideas and suggestions to support them to create enabling musical environments including the auditory environment. Throughout the session we will consider the unique child and the musical interests, preferences, and identities of children and how educators can connect with and nurture this.

The art of conversation

In this ever-increasing world of technological advances and the hyperconnectivity this enables, how are we ‘speaking’ with colleagues, children and with people in our individual worlds? This session involves delving into the 3 ‘types’ of conversation and codes / ‘rules’ around the different forms of communication from the written word to the voice note.

Are we listening?

How much time do we spend listening and how much time have we spent being taught ‘how’ to listen? This session will explore listening, what this means and how we can develop this crucial skill. Participants will be invited to consider and reflect on their own listening styles, and their perspectives of listening within the workplace to children and colleagues and within everyday life.

Emotional intelligence

What do we mean by emotional intelligence and how can we harness and develop our EI further? In this session participants will be invited to consider and discuss emotions such as empathy, compassion and develop our understanding of our own feelings and those of others, to create better relationships with other people.

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