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New early years workshop theme is a hit!

train-cartoon1Today I unveiled a new theme for my early years workshops and, if you haven’t already guessed by the picture, todays theme was transportation!

As explained on the children’s workshops page, each week I use a different theme for each nursery or early years settings this ensures that the children get a varied curriculum, are kept engaged and most importantly are having the most fun possible!

As my collection of instruments grows so does the choice of themes, and todays was received particularly well by all the children.

The transport theme focused on the children’s ability to follow instructions, their listening skills, their rhythm and co-ordination and there ability to move in time with a beat or pice of music.

Here are some examples of activities we explored in todays session:

  • Shakey egg train chain
  • Traffic light drums
  • Transport songs (wheels on the bus, row row row your boat etc.)
  • Marching to the beat of the drum
  • Rowing our boats with clave’s (rhythm sticks)
  • And much much more…

The themes now being used for the workshops are:

  • Transportation
  • percussion pirates
  • Numbers and notes
  • fast and slow
  • Jungle rhythms
  • Move to the music

With many more on the way!

I try to make the themes as fun as possible but also educational and having as many benefits for the children as possible, not only musically but also in other areas of  their early years development. As I explore new themes and introduce new activities and instruments, I can really begin to see an improvement in rhythm, co-ordination, movement, listening skills and general musicality with all the children.

Please feel free to contact me if your child participates in one of my workshops and I would be happy to give  you some individual feedback.

Please feel free to let me know if you (or your little ones) have any requests and ideas for new themes via the comment box below or via my Facebook page.



No Instruments?….. No Problem!


I have a very strong belief that music should be accessible for everyone, no matter how old or young. Its for this reason that I set up Music with Mike,  to give everyone musical opportunities. However as many of you know, instruments for children don’t come cheap and with christmas just around the corner (and too many Ninjago, Peppa pig and octonauts toys to buy!) musical instruments can often get left out of santas letter! . With this in mind I thought I would share a great article that I found which explains some great ways to make instruments of your own.

Making drums, shakers and even guitars can be a great way to make music in your home and a fun creative activity for you and you’re little ones. Spoonfull.com have collated some great ideas for making musical instruments for your little ones.

Have a go yourselves and remember, if it makes a noise you can make music from it!

i particularly like the balloon drums and button caster nets!

I would love to see some of you’re creations, send your pictures via the music with mike Facebook page or even better bring the instruments to you’re next Music with Mike workshop!

Christmas comes early!

new drumsThe arrival of a parcel here at Music with Mike HQ is always an exciting time, so imagine my excitement when four extra large parcels arrive!

I always make sure that I have the best quality instruments for all participants and I’m continually trying to increase my selection of drums, shakers and other noise makers!

The latest additions are some very exciting new drums, perfect for players of all ages and abilities.

  • 3 modern stackable Ashiko drums – An Ashiko is a drum shaped like a truncated cone and played with bare hands. The drum is played throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. Like the Djembe, the ashiko has three primary tones, bass, tone, and slap.
  • 2 wooden Djembe’s all the way from Ghana – A Djembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. According to the Bamana people in Mali, the name of the djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which translates to “everyone gather together in peace” and defines the drum’s purpose.
  • 1 freestyle Djembe
  • 7 coloursound Djembe’s, perfect for small hands
 1. A kind of goblet-shaped hand drum originating in West Africa.

Testing, Testing 1..2..3…

Over the past two weeks I have relocated my recording studio to the Little Barn Owls nursery and pre school in Horsham, West Sussex.

A great time was had by all, recording the staff and children singing and playing their favourite songs for a special music project.

Using a professional microphone I recorded the children’s and staff singing songs such as 5 speckled frogs, 5 current buns and a special tidy up song, specially composed by the nursery staff. The day was enjoyed by all and the children all proved that you don’t need to be on the X factor to get your music onto a CD! The highlight of the day for me was seeing the the joy (and also slight confusion) on the children’s faces as they hear themselves back!

After recording the staff and children singing and a member of staff playing the guitar I mixed and mastered the songs too be put on a cd and played throughout the nursery.

Heres a little snippet of the final CD

A recording project in your school or nursery is a great opportunity to showcase the musical talents of your children and staff….Fancy booking a recording project in your nursery or school? Get in touch to find out what I can offer your setting.

Music with mike Goes international!

kids drumming

Over the summer school break I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work at Ovingdean hall international language college with the fantastic kids and staff on their summer school programme.

I went into the college to contribute towards their summer school enrichment activities, with a variety of different activities for the children including lots of drumming, playing guitar, bass and Ukulele, playing the 8-legged sensory pads, plenty of rhythm games and lots, lots more!

The children (and staff!) had a great time playing with all the different instruments and getting involved in the activities, Looking forward to next summers programme!

Heres what the college thought about my work….

“Mike’s Music workshops were a favourite at Ovingdean Hall College, with all of our international students.

There was something for everyone to enjoy and participate in no matter what your musical experience or age. Everyone was encouraged to involved and create music together.

kids playing pads

The rhythmic circle sessions were popular as Mike provided a whole range of drums, beaters, rhythmic tubes, tambourines, sticks and shakers for all of the students to use as a group. The interaction with the equipment and with the different games was exciting and helped the students connect with the music and each other.

kids drumming 2Mike also used very modern equipment to interest the students in a more modern approach to commonly used electronic music. The electronic floor pads were a highlight with students forming groups and playing samples to create a modern song on the computer. This included a DJ Scratch Pad and Electric Guitar that students loved! It was something that was different for them, easy to do and inspiring.Mike also used very modern equipment to interest the students in a more modern approach to commonly used electronic music. Th

When finishing a session, he would often finish with a few songs for students to sing along to and play their instruments freely. It was a fantastic atmosphere for all involved by being able to show students totally different styles within music as well as having such a ‘hands on’ approach .

Mike was very professional, often varying the levels of competency and challenging students with group and solo work. We couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to fill a room with energy!”

(Florie Evans, student services)