Best Practice

Musical play: A powerful tool for self-regulation

Musical play can help to teach young children crucial self-regulation skills, research has suggested. Dr Antonia Zachariou explains more and offers some practical ideas based on their findings


As of September 2021, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) will require early years settings to consider self-regulation. The Early Learning Goal on self-regulation, stipulates that children should start primary school (year 1) able to:

However, what self-regulation is and how primary schools might respond to this and build on it is not clear.


Our research (Zachariou & Whitebread, 2015, 2017) alongside that of others in our field, can help primary schools to build on this with children in key stage 1. The evidence we have gathered shows that musical play can be a powerful tool to help children build these skills.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting Headteacher Update and reading some of our content for professionals in primary education. Subscribe now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcasts

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday


Already have an account? Sign in here