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Music in Transition by David Trouton

Music and Transition

What is Music in Transition?

Music in Transistion explored using music to support children in the transition from Nursery to Primary School as part of West Lothian Council's Youth Music Programme.

The aim was to develop and enhance a range of abilities: self-confidence, self-expression, concentration, group work, active listening, pre-reading skills and emotional literacy through participation in creative music-making. It was informed by the Music and Me project rolled out in nursery schools throughout West Lothian in 2011, and the release of a new music resource Music in Transition which was developed in consultation with nursery and early years teachers as part of the Year 10 Youth Music Initiative programme.

Teachers participated in a CPD programme where the music resource was used as a tool for cross-curricular learning.

What took place?

Music and Transition was rolled out to 20 West Lothian schools in January 2014 with CPD sessions for Nursery and Primary 1 staff, followed by 2 visits to each nursery and Primary 1 class by David Trouton to demonstrate the resource material and guide staff in its use.

Who took part?

1,400 three to six year olds in 21 West Lothian Nurseries and Primary Schools

40 staff took part in CPD sessions

Length of project

6 months between January and June 2014

What was the impact?

Teachers commented that exploring the musical activities with their pupils enhanced confidence, enjoyment, concentration, pair and group working skills, musical awareness, phonological awareness, listening and talking skills. Staff also mentioned the value of the work in fostering a love of music and valuing self-expression both personally and in others.

More information

To find out more about the Music in Transition and Music and Me resources visit engagewithmusic.com, or email David Trouton.


“One of the most popular and exciting activities in our pilot project was the “Imaginary Journey”. What began as a simple time-keeping exercise – playing our shakers to the rhythm of a train as it travelled through tunnels (quietly), up a hill (slowly) and down the other side (very fast), developed week by week with the children’s imagination. Where were we going this week? What could we do when we got there? The sessions with primary 1 classes culminated with the ultimate journey – to the moon and back! An obvious analogy with the life journey the children were about to make, it soon became clear that imaginary journeys could form a key project spanning transition, providing an element of thematic continuity from nursery into primary 1.” David Trouton, Composer

“We are a special needs nursery for children with severe and complex needs.  Dave came in and adapted everything to fully meet the needs of our children and as a result the children got a lot out of the project.  We are sad that it is now over and hope that Dave will be able to come back again in the future” Beatlie School, Livingston

“Music in Transition has provided a forum for our children to gain confidence and build on their Literacy skills. It reinforces learning behaviour in a fun and engaging way, is very relevant to the age of the children and can also be adapted to suit their interests and ideas.

"The project has also provided staff with more confidence and developed their skills in the use of music and how this can help to extend listening and talking skills.” Kirkhill Primary School, Broxburn

“Music /sound activities are crucial at the early years stage as they develop listening and concentration skills which are essential to good learning. The children also find the activities fun and are fully engaged in the lessons.” Greenrigg Primary School,Harthill

“It was fun and my favourite part was playing the maracas” Nursery pupil, aged 4