Work with Beanstalk!

**Update** At the moment with the current situation around covid-19 it’s very hard for us to know when we’ll be in a position to start leading face to face classes, and at what point we’ll be able to again start expanding the team. We still welcome any applications, but these will be currently kept on file and we’ll be in touch if and when we’re in a position to start hiring again**


We are looking to recruit brilliant freelance early years specialists who are confident instrumentalists and storytellers to join our team delivering Beanstalk Arts storytelling and music sessions for children aged 0-5 and their parents or carers. We will be looking initially to contract you for a morning (3 classes) of work in South East London (exact location will be fixed depending on the day) in the Spring term of 2020, with an initial 8 session contract, but with the hope this will grow into a lasting relationship, for there is a real potential for larger blocks of work in the future.

To apply for this role you will need to be a confident instrumentalist, playing at least one acoustic instrument (other than piano, ukulele or guitar) that you are confident performing and improvising on during the sessions, and also play (or be willing to learn – training can be provided) basic ukulele or guitar. You’ll also need to be a confident singer and have proven experience and enthusiasm for working with the early years. You will need to provide your own instruments for you to play, and be happy using these in  the groups, but we will provide all additional resources for the children to use and props for the session.

The successful applicant will work within the current Beanstalk Arts session framework to deliver interactive, creative musical storytelling sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers and their parents and carers, and you be trained in advance in using this model. You will use puppets, props, your voice and your own musical instruments to bring the stories to life. After training, in a morning you will deliver 2 or 3* 40 minute sessions, each with a different group of children. You will be responsible for arriving in advance of the classes to set the space, signing in all participants, and keeping a record of attendance, but you will not be required to handle payment as registers will be sent in advance. 

Before starting the project there will be training and shadowing, and each week you’ll be provided with a story map, key songs and extra resources for children to use. Each week will be a different story, so you’ll need to make sure you have allowed time to plan your delivery in advance of the class. Sessions won’t be scripted, so improvising skills will be required, and you will need to adapt some of the songs or music to suit your instrument. There will be opportunities for you to contribute songs, stories and music of your own in the future.

Recruitment process:

Stage 1: CV and cover email of application to There is no deadline, and applications will be considered on an ongoing basis – at the moment any applications will be held on file until we’re in a position to be running classes again. 

Stage 2: For successful applicants, I would like to arrange an initial interview, then observe your practice – if you are already working with young children in reach of the SE London area, and it is possible for me to observe you, we can arrange this, if not possible, we will arrange a Beanstalk session where you can lead. 

Successful candidates will then be contracted for 8 sessions, the first 2 will be shadowing and training with Becky, director of Beanstalk Arts, and the following 6 you will lead independently. 

Fee: We’ll initially offer a short 8 week contract – £720 for the 8 mornings if 3 sessions, £560 if 2 sessions (timings and day will be discussed as there is some flexibility), and this fee covers your preparation of material in advance. (£90 per 3 session morning, training/shadowing sessions are paid).  Payable in monthly instalments on receipt of invoice

For any any further sessions or cover work offered, Beanstalk can can offer a fee of £90 for 3 sessions, £70 for 2 sessions or £40 for a single session (where sessions are in the same venue), with potential for up to 6 sessions in a day.

Essential Criteria:

  • Play an acoustic musical instrument (other than piano, ukulele or guitar) that you are confident performing and improvising on, and will bring and use in the sessions.
  • In addition, play – or be willing to learn – ukulele.
  • Have a confident singing voice
  • Hold an up to date DBS clearance
  • Demonstrable experience of working with the early years.
  • Available to commit to at least one regular weekday morning (possibly afternoon) a week for an 8 week block.
  • Interest in storytelling
  • Registered self-employed
  • You must hold public liability insurance (if you don’t already I’m happy to point you in the direction of organisations through which this can be arranged) and insurance for your own musical instrument
  • Brilliant time keeping

Desirable Skills:

  • Experience working with parent/carer and child groups. 
  • Interest in teaching pre-schooler and after school ukulele lessons
  • Interest in leading weekend party sessions.
  • Have a driving license and access to a vehicle (as some of our venues will require you bringing mats)
  • Experience/training in storytelling

More about Beanstalk Arts.

Beanstalk Arts is a SE London based creative arts organisation set up by workshop leader and cellist Becky Dixon. We have a strong reputation locally for delivering high quality, inclusive and welcoming workshops with live music at the core.

Find out more at

How to apply:

Application is by CV and cover email, answering the questions below, sent to

Applications will be considered as received and there is no specific deadline.

Application questions:

  1. What is your primary musical instrument?
  2. Can you also play the guitar and/or ukulele?
  3. Can you tell me in a little detail about your specific experience and/or training in early years music?
  4. Please can you let me know your approximate availbility in the Spring term 2020. You’ll need to be able to commit to a regular weekly slot to be able to take this work.
  5. Do you drive and have access to a vehicle?
  6. Are you currently working musically with early years groups, and if so, would it be possible for me to observe this ? 
  7. Can you confirm that you are registered self-employed with HMRC, and hold your own public liability and musical instrument insurance?
  8. Please provide details of 2 referees