The Lullaby Concerts

First Time Live – Early Years is a project bringing musical inspiration and skills development to four under-served communities in East England, starting in 2012.

The project aim is to provide inspiring and engaging orchestral concerts and associated workshops to young children in under-served coastal areas in East England, with a view to broadening children’s musical horizons and participation, whilst embedding skills and confidence amongst nursery practitioners so that music making can continue to flourish.

Intended Outcomes

  • An increase in the level of music making activities delivered by nursery practitioners at Early Years settings in the Haven Gateway and Thurrock, as a result of improved skills, knowledge and confidence developed through the project.
  • Participating children and parents have a change of attitude to orchestral music and broadened musical horizons as a result of having a positive, inspirational and engaging first-time experience of it through specialist concerts and associated workshops, sowing the seed of interest for future engagement.
  • Established new partnerships in areas where previously there had been little or no orchestral activity with young people, enabling further creative projects to be developed by Orchestras Live through strong, sustainable and dynamic partnerships and shared investment.

First Time Live – Early Years includes the following elements:

Training Days: an intensive training day given by experienced music leader Claire Bloor in each area, enabling music skills and techniques to be shared with up to 30 Early Years practitioners. These CPD events will include resource packs prepared by the music leader.


Workshops: Claire Bloor leading a series of three workshops at three nursery settings in each area, introducing ideas and techniques for both structured and free-play music making. These bring new experiences and opportunities for creativity to the young children whilst providing a structure for practitioners to explore the use of music in their own work and as a means for cultivating communication and learning with young children. In the final workshop Claire will be joined by a trio from City of London Sinfonia.

Lullaby Concerts: a focal point in each area will be two Lullaby Concerts featuring City of London Sinfonia. Presented by Claire Bloor, these highly interactive concerts contain a range of orchestral repertoire together with songs and musical participation, all specially designed for pre-school children but which also appeal to the adults that accompany them. Having seen and heard the 13-piece orchestra, the young members of the audience also have the opportunity to try out a range of orchestral instruments provided by the local Music Service and facilitated by instrumental tutors, local young musicians and CLS players.

Follow-up Workshops: after the concerts Claire will continue to make periodic visits to all settings to support the practitioners in the delivery of music-making with their children and parents. At each setting one practitioner will be nominated as an apprentice music leader, and an individual plan will be developed with this person to provide a framework for their progression, with mentoring support from the music leader. They will also be encouraged to attend subsequent training days, workshops or concerts in other areas, where possible, and there is the opportunity for practitioners to learn from the work that evolves in other areas, connected by the music leader.

Project Partners
Orchestras Live
City of London Sinfonia
Essex Music Services
Essex County Council Early Years & Childcare
Essex County Council Arts Development
Suffolk County Music Service
Suffolk Coastal District Council
Thurrock Music Services
Thurrock Council Early Years Improvement Team
ROH Bridge Youth Music