The Parallels between Art and Musical Play

Click HERE to access Julie’s writing on this subject from 20th January 2016.

The Power of Musical Play

Music is our first language. It is a language of the emotions. Sound, movement, rhythm, the basic elements of music surround the unborn child long before birth. All babies and young children demonstrate a love of singing sounds, movement, dancing, and melodramatic narrative games that describe what is happening moment by moment. For example: James is digging, digging in the sandpit, building a sand castle very, very high, now the castle comes crashing down, now you build it up again. Music can arouse and calm. Songs and musical play can support all learning and provide a nurturing environment.

Musical play supports children’s learning about their own health, safety, self-care and helps them to gain a positive self-image. Songs and playful routines can be included in daily routines which help children understand each step of a process, to be a part of all the daily rituals and routines. Dressing, toileting, washing, eating and sleeping can be supported through the use of specially improvised songs, supporting each step of action. Music is a powerful means of helping all children to feel included and safe. Songs can be sung without words using babbling sounds. Listen to the sounds that a child makes and copy what they have said or sung. Make up echo games, listening games at the dough table, inside, outside, anywhere.


Julie Wylie’s CD “Teddy Bears’ Tango” has a song which is suitable for all occasions. Simply change the words to suit whatever you want the children to do. Elke’s Song track 7 is a traditional German folk dance. Elke and Julie developed this music as an instructional song that cues children moment by moment. The song may only have one or two instructions. Use of repetition helps children to listen and remember each step of the instruction. For example: Wash your hands wash your hands, la,la,la, la, la,la, la. Use some soap and rub your hands la, la, la, la, la, la, la, Rinse your hands under the tap, la, la,etc. Dry them now, use the towel, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.  The song is simple and the melody/tune is simple using notes in a child’s pitch range. Middle C up to C the eight note octave. The rhythm pattern helps the children to remember and learn.

Teddy Bears Tango

Make up your own words and get the children making up songs with you. Musical play and songs support healthy, playful interaction. Don’t be shy about singing. Children will love it when you play musically with them.



24th February 2014

Musical play is a natural means of supporting engaged, sustained relationship based play. When musical play is used in a calming and regulating way, the child becomes engaged, able to listen, interact and initiate their own sounds and actions. Follow the child, match their energy levels, copy their sounds and actions and incorporate simple, predictable, playful, songs and musical games. 

Because musical form has a clear beginning, middle and end, it has been one of the most important contributing factors helping the development of the child’s concentration. The child learns to follow the musical form of an activity and sung instructions such as “now get ready to stop”! This helps the child in all daily routines. 

Musical form helps with problem solving, task organisation, and completion of task, teaching the child to wait, to expect closure. The song can be short and predictable helping the child to anticipate and follow each sequence of the activity: “Roll the ball and catch the ball and now get ready to stop”. The song can be extended and developed helping the child to persevere with an activity which is never boring if the play is musical. The same words can be repeated for each verse, until the child can listen and follow the sung instructions. Musical form, much use of repetition and use of rhythmic, playful songs provide consistency, helping the child to anticipate and practice sequences of an activity.

The music becomes an organising factor, helping the child to modulate from one task to another, accepting order and routine, and to communicate creatively, joyfully and playfully.

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Newest CD Released November 2013

Magical Musical Play incorporates Julie Wylie’s philosophy of introducing the language of music to children so that they understand and use the elements of music in their own creative play.

Magical Musical Play promotes tuneful singing, a strong sense of musical form and rhythmic flow through movement and dance.

The pitch games help children understand and play notes in relation to their own bodies.

The catchy melodies and themes with wonderful musical arrangements inspire the child to take the lead and create their own dances and music.

As they become empowered musically they become proud performers who delight in leading others into their own magical creative world of the imagination.

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