Len Tyler Music School

01276 504666


Welcome to the gallery.  This page contains video clips of classes at various ages

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BABIES 1 - NEWBORN - 1 YEAR OLD - Click HERE to watch our baby class working with the song “Cobbler Cobbler mend my shoe”.  This simple two note song is the sort of thing that very young children can take on board.  Please note there is no piano accompaniment or backing track.  This would make things more difficult for very young children to absorb properly.  Hearing and experiencing these notes is a very good experience for babies.  This class includes our youngest pupil to date.  Jake attended his first session at the 24th week of pregnancy and is still learning while inside his mum.  For special family reasons Jake has been named well before his birth.  Unborn children can hear from the 22nd week of pregnancy.

The technical bit - Feeling the musical pulse of Ta (Crotchet) or Ti-ti (Quavers) helps to input a basic musical pulse.  If properly established the concept of keeping a steady pulse should last for life.  Singing in canon to gives a feel for two part work and the harmonies that it created in music.

 BABIES 2 - NEWBORN - 2 YEARS OLD - Click HERE to see one of our younger classes enjoy the activity “Walking in the rain”.  This mixed age class (0-2) are experiencing the sounds and joining in with the “Splash” which is great fun.  Lots of adult support is needed here, particularly for the babies who gain from being carried and then pick up the pulse activity through the walking actions of the parents.

The technical bit - They are learning about the underlying pulse through the parent’s feet and also the quieter sounds of music.  The concept of the “silent splash” is a useful teaching tool as it encourages the children to “think” the missing note thereby developing the inner hearing (the ability to hear music in your head).  Parents go on to sing in canon to give a feel for two part work and the harmonies that it created in music.

Parents can sometimes feel a bit unsure of their own singing when they first come along, but with a little time and patients all are able to sing in tune.  We are always understanding.

4-5 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a Class of 4-5 year olds answering their names to the register

The Technical bit - During this activity notes So and Mi (fifth and third degree of the scale) were used.  These particular notes are very useful in getting children to sing on pitch (Tone deaf doesn’t exist - we believe that everyone can sing on pitch if given the proper encouragement and training.)  As well as responding on pitch they are also identifying with their hand which is the higher note.  This is the beginning of their conscious understanding of pitch sounds and the spatial musical concept of high and low sounds.

4-5 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a Class of 4-5 year olds singing “Walking in the rain” and having much fun jumping in the puddles.  The sheer amount of fun that can be had doing music is clearly evident in this activity.

The Technical bit - During this activity the children are working with the concept of piano and forte which is now well established.  They are also able to perform a whole verse in silence (Tacet) which requires them to be able to imaging the sound of the song in their musical minds (internalisation).  The proof of this mental activity is the fact that they all perform the “splash” in the right place.  The children don’t realise the academic work that they are doing.  They are just splashing in the puddles ..!  The song also includes the rhythmic element Tim-ki (Dotted quaver - semi quaver) which is being learned here for use when the children are much older.  This song contains all the notes of the Do hexachord.

4-5 Year Olds 3 - Click HERE to see a class of 4-5 year olds working with music flash cards.  These children have been reading basic rhythmic music for about a year and as such are able to perform these rhythms with a degree of accuracy.  This activity is one of their favourites.

The Technical bit - Please note that the teacher doesn’t say the cards with the children. You are hearing the children read these music cards unaided.  In the early part of this sequence as well as reading the rhythms there is some work done on the concept that by inverting the card the music can have “tails up” or “tails down”.  When a card is inverted the music is effectively performed backwards (retrograde).  At the very end of the sequence there is some work done on the concept that a card can sound the same forward as it does in retrograde.  During the second half of this sequence flash cards are turned over before the children have finished reading them.  This forces the musical mind to take in information and store it before performing it a few seconds later.  This process strikes at the heart of all form of sight reading both music and text.

4-5 Year Olds 4 - Click HERE to see a class of 4-5 year olds working with the song Hot Cross Buns and working with discovering the rhythmic elements.

The Technical bit - In the activity a series of heart cards are used to represent the underlying pulse of the song.  As the activity evolves the various rhythmic elements are worked on.  The crotchet (Ta) and paired quavers (Ti-ti) are already known and are being reinforced here.  The concept of a crotchet rest (Sh) which creates as short silence in the music is being brought to a more conscious level.  In future weeks this element will be labelled and the children will fully understand this particular element of music.

We would like to thank all the staff for allowing us to video their work, all the parents for giving permissions to show their children on the web site.  We would particularly like to thank the children for “being themselves”.  Whether you are one of our current parents, an interested parent or perhaps a teacher visiting this site to see what we do we would like to suggest that you look at clips from all age groups so that you can see how it all starts, and where it all leads to.  These videos were done without prior notice or extensive practice, they just show children at varying stages of musical development having fun with simple music while they learn the underlying musical skills.  We have included the “technical bit” mainly for visiting teachers.  We believe that teaching without this sort of depth produces superficial learning.

5-6 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a class of 5-6 year olds doing some board work.  The whole idea of children having to guess what the song is and then playing with the building blocks of music is interesting.  Making sure that the teacher doesn’t miss important bits out is also good fun - and interesting.

The Technical Bit - This activity starts with just the basic notes So and Mi on the board.  The children are not aware which song is to be used.  “Hob Shoe Hob” is a song know to them.  The children are required to sing the notes from the board and identify the notes at the end (the missing Do Do Do).  They are then given the opportunity to add the rhythmic element of the song to make this piece of board work complete by adding in all the rests (Sh).  Being able to play with the basic building blocks of music at this relatively young age helps children to gain a deeper understanding of music from all perspectives.  Really knowing the basics is so important.  There is a great deal of technical work here all done while the children are doing a fun activity.

5-6 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a class of 5-6 year olds transferring the knowledge displayed on the board to instrumental use.  Playing these instruments is always popular and good fun.  Notice that the playing is not too loud.  This helps children to hear what is going on and to play in time together.

The Technical Bit - This activity is a continuation of the board work done previously (see above).  The rhythmic elements are transferred to xylophones and metalaphones and the children are lead to discover the function of the crotchets rest (Ta).  Those not actually playing the metalaphones are given the task of producing the rest at the right place thereby strengthening their understanding of this element of music.

3-4 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a Class of preschool children having fun with xylophones.

The technical bit - These children have learned the concept of Ta and Ti-ti (Crotchets and Quavers) and how to perform them on xylophones when required.  They also show their understanding of the different volumes in music at a conscious level and are able to use the correct labels (piano and forte) as required.  They are still having fun

3-4 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a Class of preschool children enjoying some “Hot Cross Buns” with the teddies.

The technical bit - This song contains the pitch notes Mi Re and Do and the rhythmic elements Ta (Crotchet) Ti-ti (Quavers) and Sh (Crotchet rest).  Children here are establishing the concept of the Sh (Crotchet rest) when they blow on the teddies, or when the teddies take a bite of the bun.  The children don’t realise that they are learning.  They are just playing with the teddy.

3-4 Year Olds 3 - Click here to see a class of preschool children being introduced to basic music reading.

The technical bit - The concept of Ta (Crotchet) and Ti-ti (Quavers) has already been learned and these children are familiar with the song concerned.  The fact that mummy bear always walks “Ta” and the baby bear always runs “Ti-ti” is the key to this activity.  As long as the children have been taught properly they will succeed in the reading of these fundamental elements.  In subsequent weeks the music reading will be reinforced and practiced in one form or other so that this skill is built upon.  Other musical elements will be taught in time but not until those elements are well taught first and well established.

2-3 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a class of parents and toddlers enjoying the song “Rain is falling down”.  Blowing the clouds away in the second verse is good to do

The Technical Bit - This song contains three pitch sounds (Mi Re and Do) and just three rhythmic elements (Ta, Ti-ti and Sh).  Blowing the clouds away with the outwards action of the hands helps to teach the Sh (Crotchet rest) to an unconscious level.

2-3 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a class of parents and toddlers having fun with xylophones and metalaphones.  Making interesting sounds with your friends is good fun.

The Technical Bit - This activity shows children working on the accuracy of their pulse work playing Ti-tis (Quavers).  As the activity builds and more children become more accurate they gain the skill of playing in time with each other that is so important later in their musical development.

6-7 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a class of 6-7 year olds doing a warm up sequence at the beginning of the lesson.

The Technical Bit - Although the main aim is to get the voice warmed up and get the muscles in the throat warmed up, just as you would do a warm up before doing any exercise or using any muscles, this was also an opportunity to include some unconscious music training.  Starting with just a few notes the copying exercise extended out to include all notes of the basic Do Pentatone.  Children were then asked to identify what was going on so that they had a bit of a mental warm us as well.  The entire exercise was done in five time which will help all the children when they come across this time signature at some time in the future.

6-7 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a class of 6-7 year olds doing some work on recorders.  The use of recorders is an ideal starting instrument as it encompasses the concept of music being put into a pupil and then exported from the pupil to an external medium, in this case the recorder.  This is good preparation for playing any instrument.  Again this is a popular activity with the children.  If we ever run out of time and can’t do recorders there is much disappointment.

The Technical Bit - There is a great deal in this activity despite the fact that only two notes (B and A) were used.  There was much more here than just learning to play a recorder.  It all begins with the children copying by aural awareness rhythms played by the teacher.  These include the elements Ta (Crotchet), Ti-ti (Quavers) and Syn-co-pa (syncopated rhythm).  This whole activity was transferred to music reading with the children reading rhythmic flash cards on the note B.  Having some cards inverted teaches the basics of tails up and tails down in music.  It also teaches the basics of retrograde music (this will be helpful for those that go on to do GCSE Music as this is part of the syllabus ...!!).  There is the realisation that one rhythm sounds the same when inverted, but others do not.  Finally the concept of aurally identifying pitch by having the teacher turn away from the class so that they couldn’t see the fingers when the note changes from B to A.  This entire routing took less than 3½ minutes and included so much more than just learning to play the recorder.

7-8 Year Olds 1 - Click HERE to see a class of 7-8 year olds enjoying “Hey Jim Along”.  Children take turns to make up their own activity which is always good to do.

The Technical Bit - This is mainly a pulse and improvisation activity.  The tone set used is So Mi Re Do La, which includes the lower La extension.  The rhythmic elements include Ti-Tiki (Quaver-semiquavers) and Tiki-Ti (Semiquavers-Quavers) is used to unconsciously reinforce these elements.  Children having to make up their own action and keep the pulse going at the same time encourages improvisation at all levels and improves quick thinking.

7-8 Year Olds 2 - Click HERE to see a class of 7-8 year olds reading some rhythm flash cards.

The Technical Bit - These cards include the rhythms Ti-tiki (Quaver-Semiquavers) and Tiki-ti (Semiquavers- Quaver) which was included in Hey Jim Along (see above).  The syncopated rhythm Syn-co-pa was also included

7-8 Year Olds 3- Click HERE to see a class of 7-8 year olds reading using the rhyme Diddle Diddle Dumpling my son John as a fun pulse activity with shoes.  Click HERE to see the “second take” when it all went dreadfully wrong.  We thought we would include this as it does show the child centred nature and relaxed atmosphere of these classes.

The Technical Bit - there were 16 children in this group which means that all the shoes get returned to the correct owner by the last note of the song.  This worked perfectly first time much to the joy of everyone concerned.  Second go was not at all good, but it was such fun.

7-8 Year Olds 4 - Click HERE to see the children working with the song “Li’l Liza Jane”

The Technical Bit - The children were not aware of the song that was to be used at the beginning of this sequence.  Hand signs were used to access their mind through the eyes and generate the musical sounds in their heads so that they could identify the song.  Once identified the children were able to perform  it with words, in solfa (identifying all the pitch elements - Top Do, La So Mi Re and Do) and in rhythm solfa (identifying almost all of the rhythmic elements - Ta, Ti-ti, Syn-co-pa, To-o).  They sang the words to “Oh Eliza” because they have not been shown this rhythm (Tai-Ti) at a conscious level just yet.  They know this element at an unconscious level but have not yet been shown how to read and write it.

7-8 Year Olds 5 - Click HERE to see the children working with the song “Li’l Liza Jane” and making it into a percussion ensemble piece.  This is all based on the children’s understanding of the musical content of the song a shown above.

The Technical Bit - The children understand the rhythmic elements of this song are are able to extract them out and perform them on various percussion instruments to create a small ensemble piece.  It requires all children to understand all elements fully to enable this sort of ensemble piece to be performed with any level of success.  Having a strong “handle” on such musical building blocks enables children to access all music more easily regardless of the genre of the music.  Being able to spell the words that you hear gives a deeper understanding of language - even if you are not going to become a professional writer.  Being able to ‘spell’ the notes that you hear gives a deeper understanding of music - even if you are not going to be a professional musician, or even learn an instrument.  It just means that you access all music at with a deeper level of understanding.









Wherever possible children get “hands on” when demonstration instruments are brought into the Music School.  Instruments demonstrated on a rota basis include all brass, all woodwind, Violin, Cello, Banjo, Piano Accordion, Concertina, Piano and a whole host of percussion and other instruments.  All instruments are demonstrated to all children in all age groups.

ORCHESTRAL TAM-TAM - Click here to see a demonstration of the orchestral Tam Tam (large gong)  Please note that for this demonstration a class of under 2 year olds joined a class of 2-3 year olds.  We don’t normally have classes that exceed 16 children.  These two classes were put together for this demonstration for the last 10 minutes of a 40 minute session.  Please notice how focused and engaged these very young children were even at the end of a full 40 minute session.

BASS CLARINET - Click here to see a Bass Clarinet demonstration experienced by a group of 3-4 year olds.  Notice that when they sing “bye bye Bass Clarinet” at the end of this sequence they do so on the correct notes.

VIOLIN - Click here to see just how well a group of 4-5 year olds play the violin - at their very first attempt ..!!  Perhaps the teacher is giving a little help here.  This is great fun for the children and so rewarding for them when they hear the tune come out that they recognise.

To go to the section showing instrumental demonstrations please click here



Len often does some work with the children to monitor their progress.  This session with five year olds was recorded and was focused on the accuracy of their rhythmic music reading.  As well as having great fun please notice that as the session progresses Len puts the cards down early forcing them to take in more and more music in one go, rather than just reading each note as it comes along.  Towards the end of the session they “play a game” whereby they have to take in the entire card and memorise it then perform it.  All great fun but the technical content is well worth noticing.  This sort of work supports text reading and many other academic activities.

To see a high definition version where all the music is clear but the file is large - click here

To see a lower definition version where the music is not so clear but with a smaller file - click here

See below for other age groups and other teachers.  We all work to the same programme so all children have the same learning opportunities.