In 2015 I spent a good day a week writing, redrafting, refining and creating a book! Inside Music Early Years for The Voices Foundation. And in 2016 it was published and that was pretty exciting - a great moment of pride! So many teachers have used and loved the book and I know that it has contributed to many an under 5's musical education. Oh and it won an award in 2017 too...
And now in 2023 I am wondering about writing another book ... I have at least as many songs/rhymes again that I would love to share and, since 2016, I have learnt so much more about Early Childhood Music Education thanks to the wonderful CREC in Birmingham where I studied for my MA and thanks too to my colleagues, Rosie Adediran and Nicola Burke at The Family Music Hub.
So shall I write another book?
Well ... there are a few things that are stopping me ... a few things that are pointing me towards creating online resources instead. You see, in 2021 I was lucky enough to work with a team at Voices Foundation to turn Inside Music Early Years into an online resource and I have seen how it has been a game changer for many practitioners. Here's a little list of reasons why I believe online resources are the way forward:
Cost ... when I go into settings I see that they usually only have one copy of the book but there could be as many as four or five practitioners trying to share it! The online resource is available to them all, on their computers or on their phones - the setting doesn't need to buy five copies of the book.
Up-dates ... since writing the book I have learnt more, had new ideas and seen new ways of working with the book's collection of songs and rhymes. I really would love to add these ideas to the book but that would involve creating a new edition (time and money just won't allow!). It is so much easier to add/ammend in an online resource.
New songs ... to add new songs to the book I would have to create a second volume... and I would have to wait until I had enough songs/rhymes to justify the creation of that second volume. It is so much easier to add a song now and then to an online resource!
Include videos ... online you can include video clips and links to youtube videos. Practitioners love to learn by watching - so much easier than reading written instructions that can, sometimes, be a bit confusing!!
Easy searching ... online resources are so easy to navigate - you can search for a song, a prop, an instrument, a topic quickly and efficiently!
Recordings ... yes there was a CD at the back of my book so that practitioners could listen but, in just about every setting, that CD has been lost. Online resources have recordings available at the click of a button that can't be lost!