The Certificate for Music Educators (CME): Early Childhood offers a flexible, part-time, distance-learning qualification in early childhood music. The CME is a recognised National Qualification validated by Trinity College London. 



The CME:Early Childhood qualification is at Level 4 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (equivalent to first year Batchelors degree) and has been designed to develop high-quality educators to work in early childhood music. It is an ideal precursor to the highly successful  Early Years Music Education MA module at CREC (to find out more about the differences between the CME and the MA Music pathway, please visit our MA FAQ page).

The course, brought about by Dr Susan Young (MERYC-England) has a strong team of mentors who have all completed the CREC Early Years Music MA programme and are currently working as early childhood music educators in a range of organisations including universities, regional arts organisations and music education hubs.


Key Facts

Type of course: Recognised National Qualification - Level 4 Certificate
Study options: Face to face (4 days) plus distance learning
Duration: 1 year
Start date:

Enrolment + work placed activities: Winter/Spring 2021                                  
Taught sessions: Autumn 2021

Accreditation: Validated by Trinity College London 
Credits: 32 Credits at Level 4 
Fees: £1,550 (payment facilities by request - email s.delaney@crec.co.uk)
Tutors & Mentors: Zoe Greenhalgh and Jane Parker
Mentors: Susan Young, Alison Harmer, Sally-Anne Brown and Barbara Cavanagh
Entry requirements:

GCSE English minimum Grade C (or equivalent)
Prior musical experience
DBS clearance (it is the student's responsibility to obtain this before the start of the course)

Who is the CME: Early Childhood for?

This course is for anyone who wants to improve their skills and knowledge in early childhood music education and gain a recognised accredited qualification.

It is ideal for Early Years Practitioners, freelance and/or peripatetic musicians working, or wishing to work, in the Early Years.

For the duration of the course applicants will need to be working regularly with children in the 0 – 5 years age range. Applicants new to this age range can discuss with the mentor how a training practice can be set up.

If you already have some experience or have attended some training, you may be able to use this experience to cover some aspects of the course.

If you have no experience yet, you can use this course to train as an early childhood music educator. There will also be options available to purchase extra time with your mentor if you are starting from scratch.


What will the course cover?
The course will focus on music education practice across the 0-5 age phase in a wide range of settings and situations.
You will learn how to select materials, resources and activities; how to plan and manage different types of sessions with different age groups, with or without their parents/carers.
The course includes theory on how children develop musically and different models of pedagogy, both the more traditional “methods” and more contemporary approaches.
You will learn about curriculum models, forms of assessment and how to ensure progression. Essential statutory and safeguarding issues will be included.
The CME does not promote one particular approach but will encourage you to develop your own style of practice. 

How long will the CME take to complete?

The course is planned to be completed in one year, although some very experienced students may be able to complete it in less time.

Everyone must complete the course within 2 years from registration.

Once completed, students may wish to develop their practice further via our MA Modules.

Where is the course?

Regional mentors are located all over England and will make flexible arrangements to work with you, wherever you live and work; if necessary using Zoom, Teams and phone calls.

All students will be required to attend four core learning days in central Birmingham, here, at the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC).

The dates for the cohort starting Autumn 2021 are:
Thursday 28th & Friday 29th October 2021
Monday 14th February 2022
Monday 11th April 2022            

The seminar days will provide high-quality input on musical development birth to five, learning and teaching processes, how to plan and run sessions, official policies and curriculum.

The days will also provide an opportunity to meet others, share practical ideas, information and advice. The tutors are all be highly experienced.

How will the course work?

Once registered, you will make an initial assessment that maps your prior experience and knowledge against the Course Units. Next, the mentor will help you create an agreed personal action plan, deciding what training and support you require to complete the course units.

You will be assessed by a portfolio of evidence, practice-based tasks, and observations of your work with children.

How much does the CREC CME: Early Childhood course cost?

The whole course will cost £1,550. The mentor will arrange a teaching practice with support, supervision and feedback.

Fees can be paid in instalments (subject to initial non-refundable deposit of £300).

Course application and further information


If you would like to chat to someone about the course in more detail before applying, we can re-direct you to one of the regional mentors who would be happy to advise you further. Please contact the CREC team on enquiries@crec.co.uk if you wish to arrange this. 

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