Enrich your Early Years music offering –

no music expertise needed.

Whether you’re a confident musician or a complete beginner, our “Sound Children” Early Years Music Sets give you everything you need to enjoy leading music-making sessions with your children, and to support their development across all areas of learning.

For non-specialists

Our approach – Musical Play – is intuitive, so successful music sessions can be led by any parent, carer or practitioner – no music experience needed.

Musical Fun

The whole point is to have fun making music with the children, and to learn and explore together with them.


Musical Play supports general development across all areas of learning – taking turns, playing together, empathy as well as motor skills and coordination, and reading and writing later on.

Everything you need

Each set includes a selection of musical instruments, specially designed for little hands, plus a teaching resources specially designed for non-musicians.

Real instruments, just smaller

Ours are real instruments, not toys, and they’re beautifully made from natural materials, especially for little hands. They’re robust, inexpensive, and suitable for use in the home, as well as in early years settings.

Real instruments

Children deserve proper instruments, and they know and appreciate the difference. We’ve taken traditional instruments from all over the world and redesigned them specially for little hands.

Natural and tactile

We don’t use plastic, only natural materials, and so the instruments are beautiful to touch and they make beautiful, natural sounds. They’re also perfect for SEND settings.

Robust and safe

Almost all our instruments are tough enough to be left with children to select and explore in setting or at home, and they’re all safe for 3s and over.

High Quality / Low Cost

The high quality and durability of our instruments and their relatively low cost, makes them excellent value for Early Years settings and perfect for use in the home.

It’s quick and easy to put into practice

You can get started right away. Use these Music Sets and instruments as part of directed small group activities, to accompany story-telling, songs and chants, or leave them in a music corner for children to explore by themselves. Our teaching resources, which are included with each set, and with more available online, will help you to get the most out of these instruments and use them to aid children’s musical and general development.

The approach works because . . .

This is a product image of Drums for Schools' Ocean drum 8in, 20cm diameter, played in action for Special Educational Needs.
Ocean Drum 8in (20cm) diameter, Painted

The instruments are easy to play

Our instruments are “pick-up-and-play” and give immediate musical satisfaction. They’re suitable for SEND settings and even very young children will quickly be able to make a good sound and this will give them the confidence to join in music-making with others.

This is an action shot of an Early Years child playing Drums for Schools' Teeny Weeny Kenkeni Bamboo
Early Years child playing Drums for Schools’ Teeny Weeny Kenkeni Bamboo

It’s easy to teach

The approach is highly intuitive and parents, carers and practitioners are supported every step of the way by resources which are included in our sets and which are designed for non-musicians – no prior music experience is needed.

Little Hands Starter Basket - 5 Instruments, with the contents laid out flat outside of the basket, include one Bamboo Mini Drum, one  Ball Shaker - 5cm, Early Years - Early Years, one Wind Chime - Early Years, one Kenari Shaker - Early Years, one Music Bracelet - XS, one Egg on Stick - Small - 5cm, Early Years.
Little Hands Starter Basket – 5 Instruments

It’s affordable

Music sets start from as little as £31, and the instruments are robust as well as beautiful. They’re also easy to look after and built to last.

This is an action shot of an Early Years child playing Drums for Schools' Djembe Drum
Early Years child playing Drums for Schools’ Djembe Drum

It boosts wellbeing and life skills

Our musical instruments get children playing together, whether one-to-one or in a group. And once they start playing together, you’ll see a rapid increase in togetherness and wellbeing. At the same time everyone acquires a wide range of social, emotional and physical skills, and it all happens naturally and enjoyably.

Our Early Years sets tick all the boxes

For non-specialists

The approach is thoroughly intuitive and the teaching resources that are included with each set are designed for parents, carers and practitioners who don’t have any music training.

Robust and SEND-friendly

Our instruments are suitable for SEND settings and virtually all of them are tough enough to be left with children to to explore further during independent learning time. 

Up-skill and revitalise practitioners

Those who previously dreaded music sessions will start to really enjoy them, giving your setting self-sufficiency in music delivery and happier practitioners.

Include and empower every child

Ours is an intrinsically inclusive approach, suitable for all abilities and cultural backgrounds, and it’s also brilliant at developing children’s social, emotional and life skills.

Meet Early Years Framework Requirements

Following the approach and using the instruments regularly in both guided and exploratory play sessions will help you meet the requirements of the Early Years Framework.

Highly affordable

Our music sets start from as little as £31 and everything is built to last, making the sets a brilliant educational investment for EY settings and for use in the home.

Making a difference in thousands of settings

Drums for Schools “Sound Children” music sets and instruments are in use in thousands of Early Years settings, schools and homes in the UK and all over the world, helping tens of thousands of parents, practitioners and teachers to include, empower and transform hundreds of thousands of children.

  • I’d not only purchased drums from you at my last school, I’d also bought drums for the feeder primary schools to use and share (which worked out realy well), so I had no hesitation to use you again when I moved to my new school. Everything went swimmingly and we have just been using the drums as part of our summer school activities – thank you very much. No doubt I’ll be ordering something again soon!
    Charlotte Ecclesfield School
  • The drums are great – the pupils love using them in their music lessons and we have started a djembe club on a Wednesday lunchtime as well.The quality of the drums is better than I had expected and they are excellent value for money. Thank you very much for your service I will not hesitate to recommend you to other music staff I know who may be interested in purchasing African drums.
    Ruth Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School
  • I had people of all shapes and sizes, young and old and more touchingly 2 severely disabled participants all taking part in my impromptu drum circles. One lady, unable to speak and confined to a wheel chair led a call and to see her laughter and hear her squeal with delight when we followed with the response beat everything I have ever done in my years of drumming.
    Ian Beating Heart Promotions
  • The drums we’ve purchased from you are wonderful. They were a great price, they look great but most importantly they sound great. They’ve had a lot of use this past half term with visiting African drummers who used the drums with every class in the school (300 children+) as well as a visiting music teacher who did a drumming project with the Y6 children – the children and their parents have loved them!
    Kelly Bielefeld School
  • The drums are fantastic, the children are very much enjoying using them. It is amazing what even very young children can achieve in a very short space of time with African drums. Our Year 2 children are loving it.
    Emma South Petherton Infants
  • Thank you very much for all your help and support. The instruments have arrived and the children are fascinated, Year 6 can’t wait for their lesson on Monday! The Gamelan is a great addition to our department and adds greatly to our steps to becoming more culturally aware and diverse.
    Emma Belmont Grosvenor School
  • We love the instruments and they are already getting a lot of use, the children responding ever so well to the different styles of music. The teaching guides to accompany both are also very helpful.
    We have been delighted with the service from everyone we have dealt with at Drums for Schools.
    Emma Marshall Havelock Academy
  • I’m making good use of the drums with my Year 5 and 6 children at the moment but the plan is for everyone to use them. Everyone can do it so it’s inclusive and engaging. Even my head teacher joined our drumming circle yesterday and loved it!
    Teacher St Thomas of Canterbury School
  • The children love the African rhythms and are never absent on drumming day.
    Paul St Pauls Primary
  • We received the drums and they are fantastic, I have already put them to great use with years 3,4,5 and 6 classes.
    Gary Stanley Grove Primary Academy
  • The kids absolutely love drumming and has built confidence and put smiles on faces which is fantastic!
    Joanne Wikidz Workshops
  • Our drums are amazing and the children love them. We are just about to start a drum club and plan to perform to parents at the end of the summer term. Thank you for your support.
    Jude The Learning Academy Trust
  • I am absolutely delighted with the drums and so are my Form V pupils who have been the first to try them! I am particularly impressed by the storage cases and the book that you sent as it has enabled me to begin teaching techniques even though I have only attended one drumming workshop before.
    Lesley Seaton House School
  • The instruments were for two ethnic minority groups for a course that we delivered to enhance their health and wellbeing by meeting together to sing. It was a huge success and they are sustaining the courses by using the instruments and singing what they learnt in the course.They have enjoyed it so much that they are sourcing extra funding to employ a tutor. Thanks!
    Linda Southampton City Council
  • “Thoughts from our Year 5 children on playing the Gamelan:-
    • It’s good because you get to experience what people play in other countries
    • I feel special when I do it
    • It calms we down in a way, makes me feel happy and special and I like doing it
    • It makes you forget everything and concentrate on the sound”
    Mary King Edward’s Junior School
  • We are very pleased with our Samba kit and it has been used a lot since our purchase in KS3 class music lessons as well as a Samba band parade at our School Sports day.
    Samantha The Petersfield School

The Drums for Schools “Sound Children” Early Years approach is completely different


SEND-friendly and based on accessible musical instruments from all over the world, and a learning approach that has evolved naturally over hundreds of thousands of years.


The instruments are pick-up-and-play and the approach is intuitive and fun, so ALL children (and parents, carers and practitioners) are engaged right away.


Unlike classic, one-to-many teaching, everyone learns and benefits together. It upskills and invigorates practitioners and parents while they play!


You’ll quickly see the benefits of this approach in improvements in the children’s attitudes and behaviour. Musical play really does work magic!

Easy to get started

Just open the basket and begin! Each music set includes enough instruments and resources for dozens of music sessions. More resources are available online.


By developing everyone’s social, emotional and life skills, the approach empowers and transforms children, parents and practitioners, with knock-on benefits for family and community.


There really isn’t a better educational investment. One music set can be used by all the children, year after year, so it costs just a few £ per child. It’s a tiny price for a massive educational return.

Ticks the boxes

If you’re looking to quickly enrich your music offering, look no further! This affordable, high quality and low cost approach will support your children’s development across all areas of learning – no music training needed!

Andy Gwatkin & Faye

And it’s all backed by Drums for Schools, a completely different kind of supplier

We’re a small, family firm and our speciality and focus is inclusive group and whole class music making. Our mission is to make the power of music available to everyone.

Ready to take things further?

Browse solutions

Have a look at these ready-to-go Early Years music sets for from 5 to 30 children. They all include full teaching support and prices start from just £31 + VAT.

Read more

Check out our Early Years music resources. Almost all are free to download and all are designed for practitioners, carers and parents who don’t have any music training.

Talk it through

Book a chat with our founder, Andy Gwatkin. He’ll be happy to answer your questions about the practicalities of implementing this approach..

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