This project was part of a series of family learning workshops we ran in partnership with Oxfordshire Family Learning Service. 


In September 2012 OCM Education and Outreach Officer Jordon Maynard-Daley made contact with Oxfordshire Family Learning service to find out if they would be interested in collaborating on a family learning project that would engage families with music. After a successful first meeting with Anne Wheeler and Pat Turton a partnership was formed between OCM and the Oxfordshire Family Learning Service. To help us deliver the project OCM recruited Oxfordshire Music Leader Hannah Rhodes to run sessions alongside Pat Turton at the Berinsfield Children’s Centre.


With all partners recruited we scheduled a meeting at Oxford Central Library to plan the project. We planned a 4-week project, where families would meet for regular sessions once a week. The project was given the title Stories with Music. The aim for the project was to target families that we already being supported by the family learning service and use the music sessions to compliment the work that the family learning service were delivering.

The Story

The groups met once a week and were involved in activities such as:

  • Singing
  • Songwriting
  • Using musical instruments
  • Crafts
  • Body percussion and rhythm
  • Audio Recording

In the sessions participants were supported by Hannah and Pat to write lyrics and they created two songs which were recorded on to CD at the end of the project.

Participants were also encouraged to use the songs they learnt outside of the sessions. They also had instruments to use in the group.

Impact on participants

This is what participants had to say about the project.

What have you enjoyed about the project?

  • Using musical instruments
  • The little ones really enjoy it
  • The singing has been good & using the instruments
  • It’s been a new experience, ideal for the children to learn new words
  • It’s something new and different, gives us new things to do at home, its different to anything else that is on offer.

If you had the chance to do the project again is there anything you would change or do differently?

  • A bit more music,
  • Timing of the sessions might be shorter as songwriting is not possible for the small children and they get bored and lose interest
  • A bit of a longer project, instead of just four weeks it should be a bit more, we have just got into it and now it’s ending.
  • No its cool, I’d like to see it back
  • A bit more weekly sessions, a few more weeks would be nice.

Project Outcomes

This is what participants had to say about the project.

What have you taken away from the sessions?

  • “I used one of the songs ‘This is the way we….’ It helped my daughter to put her shoes on.”
  • I use songs at home with the 2 year old.
  • Listening to the rhymes helps me get better at music.

What has been particular outcome for you?

  • •Just learning new songs to use outside of the session
  • •My son was quiet before the sessions started but now he is keen to play with the instruments. Mum loves singing.

Next Steps

This project has been very successful.

OCM and the Family Learning Service will meet in January 2013 to discuss the project in more detail and hopefully plan another project together.

Thank you for reading this project log. 

Stories with Music workshop image 1
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