Early Years

Group Sessions, Individual Sessions and Staff Training

Current work includes:

Skylark Nursery, Devon,  Orchard Preschool, Lustleigh

SaMM - Totnes Saturday Morning Music School: Sing and Play - Reception and Year 1

Music Foundation - Year 2/3

Group sessions: Creative foundations in music making - 'Storytree Music'

Group sessions for nursery and early years ( including reception and year 1) - Weekly sessions or short projects

These sessions cover a wide range of material and skills. For the children the sessions are great fun and there is lots of laughter and humour - but the foundation of all the activities is very carefully thought out - developing a wide range of skills and learning for the children.

Rachel is both a multi-instrumentalist musician and a music therapist. She is very experienced in working with early years. She has also worked for many years professionally as a puppeteer and storyteller.

In these sessions Rachel combines her skills as musician, storyteller and puppeteer and brings her knowledge of child development and foundation skills for early years.

She teaches the foundations of music in a creative way with games and stories - often using toys from the nursery to foster creative and imaginative play in the children.

Musically - she covers the building blocks of music such as high and low, fast and slow, loud and quiet etc. She teaches singing and pitch awareness and includes lots of songs and nursery rhymes.

This builds the foundation for creative music making and story - and includes important foundation skills for literacy, numeracy and emotional and social development - including building confidence and self-expression and language.

Movement and music - games and songs that encourage musical awareness through movement - children find it exciting to hear the music played and adapted to them.

Social awareness and confidence is a feature of these sessions - helping children to both feel happy to be part of a group as well as leading the group at times in games.

Language development - songs and rhymes help develop language skills.

Seasonal festivals - the sessions are often linked to the time of year - with stories and puppets to bring awareness of the time of year and children’s environment.

She often brings in different musical instruments - and the children have the opportunity to stay after the session to try out the instuments. By the time the children leave nursery and go to school they are familiar with many instruments - including violin, cello, piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and a variety of guitars and percussion instruments.

End of term puppet shows - at the end of term Rachel performs a simple puppet show for the children - often with children participating in the music or creating the puppets. She works with different types of puppetry - including shadow puppets, hand puppets or simply just using soft toys, play material and natural materials to create a story and scene. 

Contact:  01364 652939

Individual sessions -

Music Foundation

These sessions are not only a wonderful musical foundation and an excellent preparation for learning to play a musical instrument - they also help in developing language skills, self-expression, physical co-ordination, self-confidence and creativity. 

Carefully selected songs, stories, lots of different musical instruments to play, interactive improvisation and musical training skills (rhythm, pitch, ear training skills, co-ordination)  are embedded in really fun creative sessions.

Specialist Education Support for SEND children

Rachel Miller is a qualified music therapist and worked for many years in health and education services in Devon. These sessions for young children are not music therapy - in that theraputic aims are not being specifically worked on. Her goals are educational and aimed at helping children engage with learning. 

Music, in this way of working, can be very beneficial.The structures and elements of musical interaction use the same building blocks as our non-verbal communication.This kind of immersive learning can help children concentrate, engage, gain confidence as well as helping their communication.  She is happy to work with children with autism, autistic spectrum, ADHD and other SEND needs. 

Sessions can also be tailored to help parents, teachers or support staff develop their own skills, resources and knowledge in music making with their child.

Staff Training

Support and training for teachers. She runs one off sessions for early years teachers on how they can use music in their teaching - see Early Years section. No musical training or experience needed. By teaching and incorporating music through storytelling teachers are able very easily to bring the wonderful experience of music making to their students. Simple instruments that require no skill and simple techniques empower teachers.