Musical Storytimes

Musical Storytimes, launched in 2015, provides Early Years groups with a unique opportunity to explore their favourite books through music with members of the CBSO. This project is suitable for early years settings, nurseries, reception and Year 1 groups.

The format of the Musical Storytimes project is a simple one: a familiar children’s book is used as the starting point for a workshop that combines storytelling, live performance, song and simple composition and creative activities.

Each session begins with a full reading of the story (usually by a member of staff at each setting) with musical accompaniment by the CBSO musicians (this will be a combination of original music and arrangements of classic, film and TV music).

CBSO Musicians Bryony and Helen.
CBSO Musicians Bryony and Helen.

The story is then deconstructed with children and musicians picking key points within the story to create their own soundtracks to reflect specific characters or locations, generate songs inspired by the words of the story, participate in action games combining music and movement that help create a deeper sense of involvement in the story, and undertake active listening during performances by the CBSO musicians.

This approach is a very effective way of engaging younger children in music making, and will also provide staff with new ideas and approaches for their own musical activities with children.

We have a selection of different Musical Storytime projects to choose from, each presented by a different CBSO duo.

Click here to learn more about the stories and musicians available...

Each Musical Storytime lasts for approximately 50 minutes, and we are able to offer 2 x 50 minute sessions within a morning or afternoon. Ideally we would have no more than 30 children in each session, and activities take place at your setting, or a venue of your choice. A Musical Storytime morning or afternoon costs £300; to book your visit or for more information please contact Carolyn Burton, Schools Officer, at or call 0121 616 6522.