Makin a Brew

Click here for Covid-19 Delivery Arrangements


Makin a Brew, delivered by Gica Loening & Claire McNicol, is an Early Years /CPD project which specialises in working with vulnerable families, through Child and Family Centres. It offers a six week programme of live participative music and storytelling for babies up to four year olds, and includes a CPD session with nursery staff and parents. Through weekly music and story sessions, Makin a Brew aims to build skills and confidence in singing, rhymes, games, and storytelling. A song booklet accompanies the programme and is issued to each family. Simple accessible materiel is used, along with weekly repetition, to engage and opens doors for vulnerable children and their families. Parents are invited to take part alongside their children. A special feature is the introduction of aural storytelling, live fiddle playing, and connection to Scots traditional song and story,

The programme starts with a CPD session for staff, focussing mainly on musical aspects, and ends with storytelling training and space for reflection on learning and skills. Staff are encouraged to practice leading songs and stories throughout the programme.

Simple rhymes, songs, and aural storytelling are a vital part of the early years experience, and when shared with parents and family, can contribute to the bonding of parent and child, supporting wellbeing, self esteem, and family connection, as well as supporting young children to build motor skills, phonological awareness, listening skills, and positive connection to others. This has a huge impact on their academic and mental health and wellbeing development.

Staff Feedback:

“This was a fantastic group time for our children and on a couple of occasions parents. We have continued using the songs and story telling. We are in the process of purchasing new musical instruments for the children”.

“57 children and 14 parents accessed the three sessions that we ran, who would not have had an opportunity to access music making groups otherwise.  Staff were delighted about the parent engagement, and stated that there were dads attending who had not attended any groups, until they came to Makin a Brew.”

YMI outcomes for this project are :

  • Young people who would not normally have the chance to participate take part in music making opportunities
  • People delivering youth music develop their skills and confidence

Covid-19 Delivery Arrangements:
The programme has been adapted to fit with early years Covid – safe settings, and while online interactive sessions are possible, face to face workshops to 4 nursery bubbles. (instead of 2 larger groups) are preferable due to working with very young children. Sessions will be held outdoors, when weather permits. Sessions will only be indoors where guidance permits and , physical distancing amongst adults observed at all times. Parents would not be part of the workshops, and CPD sessions for staff would be held online (zoom or interactive platform), or postponed to next year.  It will not involve any singing until further SG guidance on this, but will focus on spoken rhymes and stories.