Colourstrings - Music Kindergarten

The Tunbridge Wells branch of Brittens offers Colourstrings classes, which are specially designed for babies, toddlers and children. Click here to read our blog on why giving your child the chance to learn music can be advantageous to their development!


9:30 - 10:10   Toddling Rascals (Walking - 2yrs) 
10:10 - 10:50  Dancing Rascals (2-3yrs) & New (3-4s)
10:50 - 11:25  Tiny Rascals (Babies to Walking)
11:25 - 12:05  Singing Rascals (confident 3-4s, without parent in class)
12:40 - 1:20    Dancing Rascals (Walking - 2 yrs)
3:15 - 3:55      Family Rascals (mixed age under 5s)
4:10 - 4:50      Rhythm Rascals (Reception, Yr1 & Yr2 aged children
4:50 pm          Rhythm Rascals Continuers (invitation only)



TINY RASCALS:  Babies and pre-walking 

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten aims to provide a calm, gently guided musical experience for all to enjoy, giving you an opportunity to bond with your baby as you learn together.

Young babies eagerly respond to music when given the opportunity to experience it and the human voice is their preferred vehicle.  Parents/carers learn to relax with their babies and together develop confidence while enjoying musical games, songs and rhymes with a strong pulse.  Tactile bouncing, songs, tickling and peekaboo games, lullabies, circle dances, rolling and seesaw activities all encourage babies to become aware of their bodies as they start to gain more control over their movements and to develop their language and communication skills through listening and hearing others sing.  It is also an opportunity for the parent/carer to increase their repertoire of songs and rhymes and to develop confidence in their own singing voice.  All are designed to develop confidence between adult and infant and increase baby’s concentration.

Starting classes at this young age gives your baby an introduction and knowledge of rhymes and Colourstrings songs, giving them an excellent head start in encouraging speaking and singing when they are ready in later classes.

TODDLING RASCALS:  Walking – 2 years

At this age we aim to expose the children to as many different musical experiences as possible.  We explore counting songs and rhymes, action songs, respond to music physically with our bodies, scarves and teddies, start moving (with assistance!) at different speeds and enjoy being rocked, bounced and swung.  The children develop favourite songs, try out a variety of percussion instruments and meet Mummy and Baby Bear in Musicland.  The structure of the class helps keep things familiar and secure as well as giving a sense of discipline and routine.

DANCING RASCALS:   2 – 3 years

These classes are for children between 2 and 3, or for 3 year olds new to Colourstrings wanting to spend some time in class with their parent to gain confidence before coming to class on their own.

This is an active class with lots of movement, circle dances and musical activities that focus on keeping the beat along with developing co-ordination, listening and language skills.  As your child develops they can join in with action songs, start to contribute ideas for what to do next or whether to go fast or slow and start to sing themselves and take on solo roles with parental support.  We meet Daddy, Mummy and Baby Bear in Musicland and explore the musical concepts through the three Colourstrings books as well as other songs and rhymes.  We try out a variety of percussion instruments and develop our imagination through the story within the songs.

SINGING RASCALS:  3 – 4 years

At this age children are starting to feel more confident, and with a little encouragement they are able to attend independently of their parent and carer.  We continue to explore the musical concepts through fun songs and games, rhymes, movement and dances but add in the start of musical notation reading through finding Mummy and Baby Bear’s paw prints and lap different rhythms reinforcing familiar rhythm names learnt from earlier groups (ta, ti-ti etc).

The graded Singing Rascals repertoire forms the basis of encouraging solo singing through games to develop listening, pitch matching and aurally recognising and identifying songs.  Children learn to interact and co-operate in small groups and express different moods through songs, instruments and creative movement.  We explore different ways to play percussion instruments and accompany our singing.

FAMILY RASCALS: Mixed age under 5s

An inclusive class for babies and children from 0-5. With all the best elements from our Tiny, Toddling and Dancing classes. We will meet the bears in Musicland each week and explore the same songs from the Colourstrings books. With simple bouncing and tickling activities to number rhymes, movement, circle dances and activities to develop experience of pulse, pitch and rhythm.  All ages under 5 welcome - all siblings need to be registered. 

RHYTHM RASCALS:  Year R & Year 1 children

Rhythm Rascals start to link the Singing Rascals songs to the musical concepts we have previously explored, as well as beginning to consciously understand rhythm and pitch. They start to translate the rhythm of the songs into ‘bear language’ which then moves them towards reading musical notation. They also begin translating the pitches within the songs with the help of Solfa Sam, learning the pitches through solfa (Do, Re, Mi) and handsigns. This class is lots of fun, with musical games, exploration of percussion instruments, clapping songs and dances.

It is strongly recommended that any children new to Colourstrings starting this class purchase the Pentatonic book and CD (these are available at Brittens Music). Progression depends on the children knowing the songs well.



Colourstrings is a child centred approach to music and instrumental teaching based on the work of Kodaly, Dalcroze and Orff.  It replaces conventional teaching in the early stages and provides the best opportunity for children to learn musicianship in an enjoyable, stimulating and extraordinarily musical way.

It was developed by the Hungarian brothers, Geza and Csasba Szilvay who have gained international recognition as conductors, educators and string pedagogues.

Colourstrings has been established in Finland for over 45 years and the rest of the world since the early 1990s with outstanding results.  The number of teachers following this approach to teaching young children grows annually around the world.

Everyone is Musical!

Musical experiences are very important during the early years.  Every child is born with inherent musical ability, but if it is not tapped into early enough then it can fail to develop.

Music Kindergarten Classes

Training begins in the Music Kindergarten where you can join your child on a wonderful adventure travelling to Musicland where they learn about the basic musical concepts such as high and low (pitch), loud and soft (dynamics), short and long (rhythm), mood and style (character), fast and slow (tempo) etc.

Brittens Music Colourstrings Kindergarten aims to surround children with a positive, friendly and stimulating environment where they will have a multi-sensory and active musical experience through singing, listening, performing and accompanying with percussion instruments.

Pictures, musical stories, puppets and games are used to bring alive the musical elements so that children learn unconsciously and effortlessly.  By introducing music in a playful yet structured manner we believe parents/carers are giving their children the opportunity to develop a love and appreciation of music which will last a lifetime.  A feature of every Colourstrings class is a short period of quiet, focussed listening to classical or world music from many different periods, both recorded and live.

Enhance all areas of academic achievement

The Colourstrings approach of multi-sensory learning encourages not only musicianship but develops the whole personality by aiding concentration optimising social and academic skills and helping each child grow into a confident individual.  Interestingly, research indicates an early musical education can help build new neural pathways which, put more simply, means growing more routes and connections in the brain along which information can travel and be processed.

Age appropriate classes

Classes are offered for specific age group as follows: 

  • Babies – walking
  • Walking – 2 years
  • 2 – 3 years
  • 3 – 4 years
  • YR – Y1 

The songs and activities lie within each age group’s capabilities, allowing room to develop and stretch their skills futher whilst taking into account the emotional, developmental and musical needs of each individual child.  Class size is limited to 10 children.

Graded song books, CDs and work books

Multicultural folk songs, rhymes and traditional nursery songs are a weekly feature with the core song material existing in a series of books, workbooks and CDs called the Singing and Rhythm Rascals.  These are designed for pre-school and Early Years school children with the aim of arousing interest in music and creating a musical environment in the child’s home.

The primary purpose of the CDs is to encourage the child to sing and sing well.  The graded repertoire helps develop the best intonation/pitch accuracy.  A story links each song to the next and at the end of each sequence the song is heard as a string orchestral performance of high artistic quality which leads the child naturally from singing to listening.

The Rascals songs reappear in the workbooks and instrumental tutor books, creating an integrated system of learning which has been tried and tested and established in Finland for over 45 years with outstanding results.

Books and CDs are available from Brittens Music.