Music Story Rhymes

[Information Pack]


-About Music Story Rhymes [aka MSR]
-How music supports Development, Management, Wellbeing and Education
-How Music Story Rhymes supports Ofsted requirements
-Music Story Rhymes [Flyer]


About Music Story Rhymes

My name is Flora Finch, and I'm the Facilitator of Music Story Rhymes [aka MSR], which was co-designed, developed, researched and facilitated [as a pilot programme] at Tate South Lambeth Library on Thursdays.

School attendees arrived at 10:00am on Thursdays, and nurseries at 11:15am.

The MSR pilot programme began in June [2013].  It was meant to be a Story and Rhymes project, that Pauline Edole organised.

It was decided that music should be added to the mix and that I should support as Facilitator and Co-designer along with the members of the team at Tate South Lambeth Library who contributed with ideas, feedback, promotion, marketing etc. etc.  I came up with the idea of calling the programme ‘Music Story Rhymes’ and it’s protected as an initiative of Gyreentyp Ltd [a trademarked, limited company] and Tate South Lambeth Library.

As Facilitator - my role is to:

1) -provide a range of tools, ideas and exercises that Schools, Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Parents and Carers might find useful, and in turn include when supporting children, infants and toddlers at home and school.

2) -support all attendees with Development. MSR supports attendees via Play, Music Performance, Music Tuition, Coaching Skills and the sharing of Research, News and Articles [from Ofsted, Development and Early Years specialists]. For instance, children aged 0-7 require support with rhythm and timing, and 'generally' do not require too much intellectual stimulation...

Therefore, via Nursery Rhymes, we work on rhythm using Teddy Bears, clapping, walking and percussion instruments.

At present the activities at the sessions include:

- games, exercises, singing, music theory, percussion instruments, keyboard, movement and team building.

- live music, which we hope will eventually include a range of performers - including students and other professionals...

The sessions also include:

- opportunities to support, inspire and assist each other with CPD, retraining, getting back to work, getting more work, improving our coaching skills and creativity alongside making friends.

- activities that supports Education - via the sharing of research from Pre-School Alliance, Ofsted, Department of Education - alongside research about other methods, tools, strategies, exercises and pedagogies within both private and state schools.

About the music selected...

- MSR includes tracks, songs, music from the shows and film soundtracks from different genres - including classical music, jazz, folk, rock, country, latin, world music, reggae and pop. This way we achieve inclusivity.

- There’s some really interesting research about the benefits of Music - including that it supports literacy and numeracy.

I believe that music can assist with these areas, but only when other skills such as non-violent communication / parenting, wellbeing, effective self-management skills are included too, which we are able to assist with via Music Story Rhymes...

Other benefits of MSR

MSR in Libraries:

- encourages and provides opportunities for all members of the family and community [irrespective of class, culture, race, means, gender, disability and age] to design, produce and/or attend projects, discussions, forums and events together.

- enables attendees to receive expertise via a team from diverse backgrounds.

- helps development as it encourages Equality and Diversity which supports Wellbeing.

- helps prepare and equip us with social skills required to cope at school and in the workplace due to libraries enabling more opportunities for attendees to play, collaborate, engage, hear viewpoints and meet persons/families from different communities, cultures and backgrounds.


- provides assistance and support

- supports CPD – including creative, business, music, artist, professional and talent development.

- supports Wellbeing and Relaxation  -  via inclusion of calming music and songs alongside effective stress management and prevention tools.

- includes an invitation to write music, songs and short stories / books for children. There are opportunities for children, young persons and authors [subject to application] to read at the sessions.

- supports Management, Health & Safety and Coaching skills training.

- enables improvement of various skills – including: Social, Physical, Wellbeing, Actions, Communication, Motivation, Cognition and Emotions.

- is suitable and available for Children's Centres, Nurseries, Children's Libraries, Children’s Wards and Playgroups; Also, for those who require or prefer to attend Music Story Rhymes sessions in smaller groups – for example – just Facilitator and 1-2 parent/s and child/children or 2 – 4 families.

More information is available on request. My contact details are below.

If you have any questions, then do either feel free to contact me or request a Music Story Rhymes session. My email is and mobile number 07803 081 763.

Thanks ever so much for your time; I’m most grateful indeed!

How Music supports Development, Management, Wellbeing and Education

I first began to fully appreciate the developmental and healing qualities of music, when I was asked to assist as a Researcher for an Author several years ago.

For this project I had to trawl through books, articles, websites, myspace, iTunes, libraries and many cd collections [including my own]. I also conducted the research on myself for several weeks and held mini discussions with several friends and relatives. This was a lot of fun !

The research revealed that the benefits of Music training are more effective when accompanied with training in effective coaching skills  whether for self, your children or both.

Below is a summary of the research about the benefits of Music:


Our memory improves when we are positive, which music along with a carbon-friendly, ethical and healthy lifestyle enables.


Music helps to retrain the injured or depressive brain by evoking mood and emotion.


Active learning and training of music [rather than passive stimulation and facilitation] helps with rewiring the injured brain and recover as much ability as possible. Clinical research has strongly confirmed this approach.


Music helps to build relationships, promote wellbeing, express feelings and interact socially.


The brain areas involved in music are active in processing language, auditory perception, attention, memory, executive control and motor control. Music accesses and activates the systems and can drive complex patterns of interaction among them.


Auditory and motor areas in the brain grow larger and interact more efficiently, when there is music learning.


Music can enable re-education of cognitive, motor, speech and language functions via shared brain systems and plasticity.


Learning word lists in a song activates temporal and frontal brain areas on both sides of the brain, while spoken-word learning activates only activates areas in the left hemisphere.


In the early 1990s researchers began to extract and study shared mechanisms between musical and non-musical functions in motor control. One of the most important shared mechanisms is rhythm and timing. Rhythm and timing are also important elements in music. Rhythm is important in learning the appropriate motor control in order to play music.

Musical rhythms when used as timing signals help to improve a person's motor control during non-musical movement. When tried with patients with stroke or Parkinson's disease their improvements in certain areas were instantaneous and stunning. By following the rhythmic cues, patients recovering from stroke were able to walk faster and with better control over the affected side of their bodies. These improvements held up over long-term training and also proved to be superior in comparison to when other standard physical therapy interventions were used without music.

The results added weight to the idea that music can shape movements in therapy by accessing shared elements of musical and non-musical motor control [rhythm, timing] and thus powerfully enhance relearning and retraining in a clinical environment.

In a recent study that utilised brain imaging in patients with stroke, arm training with auditory rhythm triggered brain plasticity, as predicted.

Additional areas in the brain were activated by the music training. In comparison, when used without music, standard physical therapy did not result in any evidence of new changes in brain activations.

Bibliography: - by Michael Thaut, Ph. D and Gerald McIntosh, M.D.

Music Education Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills


How ‘Music Story Rhymes’ can support Ofsted requirements


Ofsted would like music projects to ‘Lead’ with schools and other partners so that they can see improvements in schools on a major scale.

The Music Story Rhymes [aka MSR] programme encourages and provides opportunities for attendees [Parents, Carers, Schools, Teachers, Teaching Assistants and Guardians] to contribute via taking part, feedback, contacts, expertise and ideas.

The sharing of expertise keeps everyone on their toes – including the Facilitator. Attendees also receive support via Tutors, Trainers, Coaches, Consultants and Performers they meet via this programme [MSR].


Ofsted would like music projects to be well led; also challenge and support school leaders to bring the numerous benefits of a good music education to all pupils, not simply the few who choose or who have the resources to specialise in the subject or an instrument.

MSR’s current focus is to provide both School and Pre-School ‘development via music, story and rhymes'.  Research suggests that there is scope for more training programmes:

- for Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Parents, Carers and Guardians that assist with supporting children’s development comprehensively and effectively [including via Music, Stories, Lyrics, Songs and Rhymes] at home and school.

- designed so that teachers, teaching assistants, children, parents, guardians and carers can learn together.

MSR also:

- assists and supports the Music Industry and Music Education:

a) with providing more opportunities and potential venues for live music and compositions from professional musicians, students, composers and teachers

b) with providing opportunities to perform new compositions and songs for lyricists, songwriters and composers

c) via assistance from professional Consultants, Practitioners etc. [via MSR] with designing music programmes and curriculum.

- fosters links with experts in Education, Child Development, Management, Development and Business to ensure all attendees and recipients receive good quality research and expertise.

- provides opportunities for Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Parents, Guardians and Carers to share articles with Facilitator at the sessions.

- supports various including Education, Music Tutors, Coaches and Consultants with learning about child development, behaviour, management and attitude.

- provides opportunities for Performers, Students and Tutors to assist and facilitate ‘Music Performance and Sing-Along’ sessions for ‘over 50s’ groups via libraries for example. Doing so supports development of their Music Performance skills and CPD and their ability to interact with an audience.


Ofsted would like to see an effective day-to-day music curriculum in schools for all pupils.

MSR is very inclusive. Also, the equipment and staff required to run this project is not too expensive.


Ofsted would like to see great quality music education and more variety in all schools.

MSR is slowly developing a team. The MSR programme will support its team via/by:

- opportunities to perform to each other and share skills

- encouraging each other to consider re-training if required

- discussions regarding the importance of positive communication and aspirations for children who we teach and train

- sharing and learning more effective strategies, teaching methods, technical, performance, musical and coaching skills from each other.

- discussion sessions – including about why using a wider variety of music in education curriculums [that reflect all the cultures we teach] is wise and supports inclusivity.


Ofsted would like to see clarity of understanding, and high expectations in music, among the schools’ senior leaders and their consequent inability to challenge their own staff, and visiting teachers, to bring about improvement.

Via the Musicians Union, and our work we are able to support both schools and pre-school groups [and trainers], music services and hubs. We can also help:

-to clarify the benefits of music with Education, Development, Management and Wellbeing.


Ofsted noted that two of their funded core functions, which can particularly help hubs to reach out to schools and develop their role among all pupils, are:

- the First Access programme, under which every child should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through whole-class teaching in schools

- the Singing Strategy, intended to ensure that every pupil sings regularly.

Ofsted would like the above to relate to other music teaching in the school. They would also like the Singing strategies to be influential and well established.

MSR sessions include: training in rhythm and timing via Nursery Rhymes, music theory, singing and instruments [including percussion instruments, glockenspiel, keyboards and violin]. Opportunities also for performance [via stories, music, songs and nursery rhymes].

MSR sessions include [for parents, carers, guardians]: training and tuition in music and coaching skills.

MSR - has access to professionals and career advisors who can support various including attendees or MSR with CPD, training and re-training.

nb More information is available via document entitled, ‘MSR - Required Outcomes_most recent' - which is available on request.

MSR recommends CPD, Self-Study and training via a PTLLs course. The Micro Teach unit provides opportunities to be critiqued [constructively] by other trainee tutors, which is crucial.


Ofsted would also like:

-good dialogue with schools

-Music curriculums with depth and rigour

-effective communication between music projects, hubs and senior leaders at schools

-more discussion re. Schools’ existing music provision – that are followed by regular discussion re. how school/music projects can improve service it provides.

-there to be a coherent music curriculum in each school – that ensures First Access and Singing Strategy is not facilitated separately from school’s own provision.

-Hubs that had been traditional local authority music services [whose main experience was in providing instrumental teaching] to fully understand how they might engage and challenge schools about teaching in class lessons.

-Hubs to tackle weaknesses in schools’ music teaching, for example by introducing systems whereby hub staff have periodic discussions about how it could support the school in improving music education.

-Hubs to show how their work in schools provides or will provide best value for public money.

-Hubs to expect a greater impact on music education for all pupils in schools.

MSR - is able to support with the above concerns raised via the Ofsted report... including: opportunities for Schools to collaborate with MSR team via libraries [and in schools]; also confidence to ask for help, research, assistance with designing a questionnaire for schools, re-training, arranging meetings [and follow up meetings], implementing comprehensive programmes [with effective procedures], understanding, clarifying and sharing the benefits of Music combined with one's overall Personal and Professional Development plan.


Ofsted recommendations are as follows:

Music hubs should prepare a school music education plan that enables them to:

-promote themselves with schools as confident, expert leaders of music education in their areas, not simply as providers of services.

-expect and secure that all schools engage with them and the National Plan for Music Education.

-have regular supportive, challenging conversations with each of their schools about the quality of music education for all pupils in that school.

-support all schools with improving the music education they provide, especially in class lessons, and support them in evaluating it robustly.

-offer expert training and consultancy to schools, which supports school leaders and staff in understanding what musical learning, and good progress by pupils in music, are like.

-ensure that their own staff and partners are well trained and ready to do this work.

-spend a suitable proportion of their staff’s time by working with school leaders strategically, alongside their work in teaching pupils directly.

-publicise their work effectively to schools and explain how it can contribute to school improvement.

-facilitate school-to-school support as appropriate

-promote high-quality curriculum progression in schools and ensure that hubs’ work in schools is integral to this.

-robustly evaluate the impact of their own work on pupils’ music education.

Regarding Ofsted’s recommendations [mentioned above] – please note that MSR is able to assist with some aspects of these requests.


Ofsted suggests that schools:

- make better use of the provision and funding provided through hubs as part of the National Plan for Music Education.

- should expect music hubs to provide them with expert advice and challenge – the challenging conversation – and take action on this.

- evaluate their musical provision more accurately, especially teaching and the curriculum, and seek training and advice as needed.

MSR is able to assist with most of these requests.


Ofted suggests that Music Education organisations should:

- support the hubs in developing their work and their school music education plans

- help develop better understanding of what works in achieving a better music education for all.

MSR is able to assist with some aspects of these requests.


Ofsted will:

- through its National Lead for Music and, as appropriate, other specialist music inspectors, support and challenge hubs in improving their work in schools, by:

- discussing its findings within the music education sector, thus contributing to understanding the debate with national bodies concerned with music education

-visit a sample of hubs and schools and look at their work. 

- ensure that all school inspectors are familiar with the findings and recommendations within Ofsted reports.

Ofsted would also like:

a. to see music used to supplement other subjects.

MSR uses educational games and exercises to develop music skills via literacy and numeracy… Also, links to Child Development experts, Education Consultants and other professionals who can assist, complement and supplement the MSR programme.

b. to see more students involved in high-profile performing groups, talent shows or productions.

The MSR team is available to support this request via opportunities to apply to perform at MSR sessions.

c. all concerned to ensure assessment systems, do not disrupt the flow and musical purposes of the lessons.

d. strong teaching practices.

e. senior leadership of music in schools is strengthened.

f. pupils to be taught about fundamental aspects of music such as time signatures, note lengths, key signatures, scales, musical form, chord sequences, and their relationship to melody, at an appropriately challenging level. 

MSR supports Music Education by providing comprehensive musical, developmental and managerial support to Schools, Nurseries, Playgroups and Children's Centres via music, stories and rhymes. MSR sessions support parents, carers, guardians and toddlers via pre-instrumental and instrumental training i.e. via percussion instruments, keyboards and violin.

g. pupils to be shown [whilst performing] the musical notation – so that the focus is not only on creating a performance – but also development of pupils’ musical understanding.

The MSR programme supports Schools, Parents, Guardians, Carers and Children with learning basic music theory alongside basic literacy and maths.  For example, the drawing of staff [or stave], treble clef and bar lines. Some of the Toddlers also want to take part [with drawing notes], so we let them…

h. more singing in schools with a repertoire that’s varied and demanding.

MSR includes Singing – via Nursery Rhymes and songs from different parts of the world with comprehensive technical support provided via the team.  More information is available on request.  The training/pre-instrumental training also supports with relaxation, breathing and singing in tune.


Pertinent recommendations from recent Ofsted music surveys

Among the recommendations made in Music in schools: wider still, and wider, were that schools, all other funded providers of music education and providers of continuing professional development should:

1) plan for pupils’ good musical progression through and across the curriculum by:

- give sufficient and regular curriculum time for the thorough and progressive development of pupils’ aural awareness and understanding.

re. The Music Story Rhymes – please find an overview below.

Alongside Music Tuition in groups [where attendees learn from each other, with Teaching Assistants, Tutors, friends, parents, guardians and carers] - MSR includes the following:

-Coaching Skills

-Basic Literacy and Numeracy Skills via music, stories and rhyme.

-Live Music Performance

-an opportunity to develop via music from different genres, cultures and countries

-Research [re. Music and Child Development; also Education, Wellbeing and Management].

Age [0-3 years]

-Listen to stories, nursery rhymes and different kinds of music [including relaxing Music]

-Educational and soft toys

-Music Instruments

-Watch facilitator/s, parents, carers, older children and guests listen, applaud, play instruments and receive basic music tuition. [i.e. nursery rhymes, rhythm and timing training, singing and dancing]

-Watch, follow and copy parents, carers and facilitator - practicing the above via circle time, pass instruments, taking turns at using the keyboard... for development of musical and social skills.

Age [3-year olds]

Same as above [Ages [0-3]]

Movement, listening and singing...

Learn fundamentals of music whilst making friends and learning basic social and communication skills.

Age [4-5 year olds]

nb Hearing develops dramatically between ages 4 - 6 years when children begin to hear music as much as other sounds...

Same as above [Ages 0-4]


Ear training


Reading and creating music

Junior – Advanced – includes:


Music Tuition
[Music Performance, Violin, Artist Development]

Admin, PA and VA support

providing robust curriculum plans that identify the landmarks of musical understanding pupils are expected to achieve, in addition to the range of musical styles and traditions that they are to experience.

MSR includes music from different cultures and parts of the world in the programme. The MSR team encourages improvisation, and some also write and encourage programme attendees and team to write children’s stories, verse, lyrics and music – that supports educational development. There is a dormant company and trademark that MSR team hopes will in future become live and support the team with:

-providing entertainment, recording music, narration,
-publishing of compositions, books, verse, music, songs, rhymes and stories written

- ensure that different initiatives, including whole-class instrumental and vocal programmes, are planned as part of an overall curriculum vision for music for the school.

2) strengthen senior leadership of music in schools by:

increasing Head Teachers’ and senior leaders’ knowledge and understanding about the key characteristics of effective music provision, including the appropriate use of musical assessment and the importance of teachers’ musical preparation, so that they can more effectively observe and support music in their schools.

Among the recommendations made in Music in schools: sound partnerships were that schools and their music education partners (including music hubs) should, through good communication and dialogue, ensure that:

- music education partnerships are well resourced, planned thoroughly and monitored robustly to ensure good value for money

- partnership programmes and projects coordinate with, augment and support other music provision in the school, taking particular account of the specific needs, interests and abilities of pupils

- school leaders and music partnership leaders work alongside each other to develop their understanding of good practice in music education and consequently bring about improvements in access and achievement for all groups of pupils.

The core and extension roles of music hubs

Core roles

- Ensure that every child aged 5 to 18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument (other than voice) through whole-class ensemble teaching programmes for ideally a year (but for a minimum of a term) of weekly tuition on the same instrument.

MSR is able to support with the above request via comprehensive pre-instrumental, basic and beginner to intermediate music tuition; also basic to advanced consultant coaching [i.e. music performance, artist development, stress management coaching] and development for all the family.

- Provide opportunities to play in ensembles and to perform from an early stage.

MSR can support music tutors, students and attendees with improving music performance. I have a degree in Music Performance - and via Music Story Rhymes  and the Music, Singing and Lyric programme there are opportunities for performance including Music Performance and Narration.  I am also able to forward talent to my contact at the BBC. More information is available, on request.

- Ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all young people.

MSR is a not an expensive programme to facilitate.

- Develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs and other vocal ensembles are available in the area.

MSR supports both attendees and private students via vocal tuition [in music performance]. MSR has a database of tutors and links to Music Tutors;  Please read the 'Services Available' page on this website - and via one of my agent [West London Music Tutors] that can assist with finding talented music tutors.

Extension roles [nb that MSR can support with some of these]:

- Continued professional development [CPD] to school staff. Particularly CPD tools that include music.

- Sometimes provide an instrument loan service.

- Provide access to large-scale and/or high-quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and/or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students.


Please find a link to an article – that children should start school at the age of two to stop disadvantaged children slipping behind their affluent peers by 19 months…

Ofsted intend to get tough… via new rules which mean all pre-schools will have to be rated ‘good’ or outstanding.

Music Story Rhymes is happy to support Ofted with this via their team.

Music Story Rhymes ♩♪♬

…Twinkle, Twinkle, little star – How I wonder what you are…

‘Music Story Rhymes’ [aka MSR] is a fun, safe and enjoyable programme which:

- includes play, music performance, learning and development [teaching, coaching, management and training]; also songs, relaxation/health via music exercises, stories and nursery rhymes.

- MSR encourages training in Health & Safety, Equality, First Aid and Environmental regulations.  We also assist with development [inc. CPD, career, personal and/or talent development], quizzes, attending a book club and the regular borrowing and reading of books from local libraries.

For 0-5 year olds and their Parents/Carers.  1to1 instrumental and music development/performance training via MSR is also available.

NOW AVAILABLE: a) 1to1 and small group sessions for 0-5 year olds with Parents, Carers or Guardians b) MSR with music tuition [violin and vocals].

Contact: Flora at [e]; [w]; 07803 081 763 [m];

Case Study - Music Story Rhymes_August 2022
CaseStudy - Music Story Rhymes_August 20[...]
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