The Sounds of Intent in the Early Years project is a joint initiative by Soundabout, University of Roehampton and the UCL Institute of Education. The innovative SoI-EY materials are based on new research showing how children develop musically and setting out the best ways in which adults can promote that development. We believe that offering young children appropriate musical experiences is not an option: the latest findings from the field of psychology show and support just how important early musical engagement is in underpinning language and communication skills, social development, learning and well-being. SoI-EY is designed to be fully inclusive, for all children, irrespective of their abilities, needs, preferences and cultural backgrounds.

Our research also supports that there is no need to be a ‘trained musician’ in order to give children the best possible start in music – with the right support, everyone can do it – and over the next three years, we will be offering professional development opportunities and sessions with children in the early years and their families, modelled on the SoI-EY approach, in Children’s Centres across England.

Thanks to the support of the National Foundation of Youth Music, SoI-EY materials have been made available to every Children’s Centre in England, and to a number of other organisations, including Music Hubs. The Youth Music grant will cover all costs, so there will be no additional charge to those who participate.

The work that is undertaken will feed into the online SoI-EY resource, which will continue as a freely available source of information, ideas and materials on completion of the project.