Benefits of music at EYFS

Music is hugely beneficial to children at EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). As well as helping to develop their overall confidence and ability to express themselves creatively, it supports the three Prime Areas of Learning:

Communication & language


  • Become confident using their voices through singing simple songs and nursery rhymes
  • Learn and practise new vocabulary
  • Enjoy language e.g. through repetition of sounds (‘spinning spider’, ‘bananas in pyjamas’), rhymes (‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive’) and word rhythms (‘the wheels on the bus go round and round’)
  • Develop listening skills
  • Recognise and identify sounds e.g. different instruments
  • Learn to imitate sounds e.g. clucking hen, tooting horn
  • Follow instructions e.g. stop/start, play quietly/loudly
  • Learn about composition e.g. by making up songs and rhymes

Physical development


  • Develop gross motor skills through moving to music e.g. waving, stretching, skipping
  • Develop fine motor skills through playing along to music e.g. shaking bells, tapping claves, banging drums
  • Learn and practise actions to songs (‘this is the way we brush our teeth’, ‘Incey Wincey Spider climbed up the spout’)
  • Explore space and move expressively e.g. by imitating the sound of water and pretending to swim under the sea
  • Respond physically to different kinds of music e.g. quiet, loud, fast, slow, lilting
  • Learn to keep a pulse e.g. by clapping, stamping, marching in time
  • Learn to tap simple rhythms (‘twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are’)
  • Dance to music e.g. learning movements such as toe-tapping, holding hands, going round in a circle

Personal, social & emotional development


  • Develop confidence through working in a group
  • Are able to suggest songs/activities/ideas
  • Interact with staff and each other
  • Learn when to play or sing and when to listen
  • Take turns e.g. choosing instruments, volunteering to perform
  • Work with themes e.g. festivals, animals, transport
  • Perform solo e.g. by coming to the front and singing a song or demonstrating how to play an instrument
  • Learn to appreciate different kinds of music – e.g. world, jazz, classical – leading to a greater knowledge of different cultures and forms of musical expression
  • Experience music in relation to other art forms e.g. drama (acting out songs), dance (exploring different ways of moving to music), craft (making instruments from recycled materials)