Nicola Burke

Nicola Burke

Early Education Associate

Nicola is an author, strategic leader, researcher and consultant based in the UK. She is currently the strategic leader of large workforce development projects taking place across London, Leicestershire and Birmingham, involving a range of arts and music organisations and Early Childhood services. She created the award-winning Tune into Listening free online resource and in 2018 wrote Musical Development Matters in the Early Years, a free downloadable resource to complement the EYFS guidance material, Development Matters in the EYFS. Nicola is currently the Subject Matter Expert for the Saudi Arabian Music Commission and works nationally and internationally to strategically support organisations to develop their Early Childhood music programmes and initiatives. She is passionate about creating enabling, meaningful experiences for young children and works with others to develop worthwhile musical opportunities for children and families.

Areas of expertise​

  • Musical Development in Early Childhood

  • Creativity

  • 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

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.

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