Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

2016-2018 Board and Staff

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Heather Waters, Managing Director

Torie Stratton, Office Administrator

Danielle Perry, Bookkeeper

Heath Benedum, Webmaster


Diana Greene: President

Diana is currently a music specialist in Musikgarten’s Music for Learning Program and also maintains a private studio. In addition, Diana performs as a collaborative pianist, appearing regularly with violinist Nicholas Currie and cellist Adam Gonzalez as Trio Giocoso.

Diana has taught early childhood music, piano, and choral singing in Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, and New Jersey and also has arts management experience. Diana was one of the founding members of the Greater Washington DC -ECMMA Chapter where she served as Vice-President.

Diana’s vision is that ECMMA should serve as a primary source in providing research, advocacy, professional development, and collaboration opportunities for practitioners, educators, and parents in all aspects of early childhood music and movement. In addition, she hopes ECMMA will create a greater national presence and set the standard for expertise in early childhood music and movement, while nurturing and mentoring the next generation of early childhood music and movement educators.

Diana holds a BMus. degree from Wheaton College and a MM from the University of North Texas. She has Level II Certification from ECMMA and is certified in all levels of the Musikgarten curriculum. She currently resides in Sparta, NJ with her husband, Allan.



Amy Rucker: Vice President – President Elect

Amy Rucker is from Ohio, where she attended The Ohio State University, earning degrees in Piano Performance and Music Education in choral conducting. During her undergrad, she conducted handbell choirs, children’s choirs, and ensembles. Much of her piano performance degree was focused on accompanying and training as an accompanist-coach.

Amy and her husband moved to Dallas, TX, which brought her to SMU’s prestigious Piano Pedagogy and Preparatory Department, where she earned her Masters degree in Piano Pedagogy. It was at SMU that Amy saw the value of early childhood music and movement. After she earned her MM she was hired as adjunct faculty, continuing her work in the pedagogy program for six years. During this time Amy taught Kindermusik for the department and served as the Early Childhood specialist. She was active in KTA, and spoke on the benefits EC Music and Movement to the Dallas chapter of the American Guild of Organists, as well as the role of children’s music in the church for Music in Worship.

After leaving SMU to start a family, Amy attended additional Teacher Training under Lorna Heyge, and began teaching Musikgarten in 1996. She founded the Early Childhood Music program at the Arts Academy of Park Cities Presbyterian church, growing the program to include 5 certified teachers and all levels of Musikgarten instruction.

Amy and her husband are now back in Ohio with their two children, Elise and Ben. Amy has presented workshops on early childhood music and movement for Musikgarten, TMEA, Detroit Musician’s League, OMEA, and Ohio University. She has had articles published in Clavier Companion and Musikgarten Messenger, and was selected to serve as a National Teacher Trainer for Musikgarten in 2004. Amy joined ECMMA when she began teaching Musikgarten, and became certified in 2006. She belongs to Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity, and Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Fraternity.



Jennie Mulqueen: Past President

Jennie just celebrated her twentieth anniversary of teaching early childhood music and movement, having trained in the fall of 1995 to teach Music Together. She became involved with the ECMMA Boston Chapter in 1999 and served as NE Regional Representative from 2004-2006. From 2004-2011 she was a national workshop leader for Music Together teachers, providing professional development on topics ranging from classroom management to parent education. Furthermore, Jennie served as Director of Early Childhood Programs at South Shore Conservatory, one of the twenty largest community arts schools in the country. She has worked with diverse practitioners and particularly enjoys curriculum development and teacher training. Jennie holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Northwestern University and a M.Ed. in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. Currently Jennie is attending Boston University on a Dean’s Fellowship to earn her Masters in Divinity, whereupon she hopes to build an interfaith preschool model that promotes strong parent education through engaging diversity.

As Jennie finishes her term as President, she is looking forward to supporting the current President in realizing renewed vision and clarified goals of the organization. Furthermore, she looks forward to more team work with new and old colleagues with the skills to share a passion for bringing music into young people’s lives.



Linda Marie Codier: Secretary

Linda Marie “Lyn” Codier, lives in Mesa, AZ with her husband Dave. Since 1979, she has taught children in the Phoenix area directing youth choirs, musicals, teaching music classes to children ages 0 through 12 years in schools, home studios, city recreation programs, churches, and a museum. She also teaches EC classroom teachers strategies and activities for music education integration into their daily schedule, and helps them understand, analyze, evaluate, adapt and implement DAP approaches and techniques.

A founding member, Lyn currently leads the ECMMA Arizona Chapter as its President, and when she was the ECMMA SW Regional Rep she organized a successful conference in Tempe in 2013. She graduated summa cum laude from ASU with a Bachelors Degree in Music Ed/Child Development & Family Studies, and holds the Level III Certifications for Kodály, Orff Schulwerk, ECMMA, and is certified in Music Together and Musikgarten (and is a licensed MG teacher). Lyn would like to see developmentally appropriate music education become a reality for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status. She would also like to see ECMMA find ways to better empower caregivers and parents to nurture music learning every day.



Christina Svec: Treasurer

Dr. Christina Svec is currently Assistant Professor of Music Education with responsibilities that relate to General/Elementary Music Methods and Secondary Choral Methods. She received her Ph.D. in Music Education and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from the University of North Texas. She received the Master of Music Education degree from Michigan State University, several levels of certification in both Music Learning Theory from Michigan State University and Kodály from the West Texas Kodály Initiative. Previous teaching experiences have included K-5 elementary music in Little Elm ISD and McKinney ISD (Texas), Director of Music for First Presbyterian Church of McKinney, Director of Children’s Music for First United Methodist Church of McKinney, adjunct work for UNT-Dallas, and Assistant Director of the UNT Early Childhood Music Program.

She has presented at numerous conferences including Texas Music Education Association (TMEA), Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA), Mountain Lake Colloquium, Tennessee Arts Academy at Belmont University, Texas Choral Directors Association Conference (TCDA), and the Early Childhood Music and Movement (ECMMA) regional conference. Svec is published in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and has a forthcoming publication in Psychology of Music. Her research interests include research methodology, research pedagogy, and childhood/early childhood singing voice development.



Diana Dansereau: Vice President – Editorial

Diana R. Dansereau, Assistant Professor of Music, Music Education, is dedicated to enriching the musical lives of young children. She demonstrates this by researching music learning in early childhood; implementing innovative musical experiences in early childhood and elementary settings; working with pre- and in-service music teachers to critically analyze research and practice; serving professional organizations whose missions pertain to advancing children’s music learning; and evaluating arts organizations’ and schools’ music programs for children.

Dr. Dansereau was an instructor at Georgia State University, held teaching assistantships at Georgia State and Penn State, and served as Assistant Director of Education & Outreach for the Pittsburgh Symphony. She taught elementary general and instrumental music in Rochester, NY, early childhood music in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and was the Early Childhood Music Specialist for the Lincoln School in Providence, RI. She currently teaches music to infants and toddlers as part of Soundplay – a program she co-founded at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.

Dr. Dansereau serves as Vice President of the Early Childhood Movement & Music Association, Editorial Chair and peer reviewer for ECMMA’s journal Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, is chair-elect of the National Association for Music Education’s Early Childhood Music Special Research Interest Group, and is on the Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal. She has consulted for various educational institutions and arts organizations including Orchestras Canada, the Cathedral Choral Society, and the Moses Brown School. She collaborated with the League of American Orchestras and Georgia State University’s Center for Educational Partnerships in Music (CEPM) to coauthor an evaluation of the Ford Made in America program, and evaluated and coauthored reports on the Bank of America Awards for Excellence in Orchestra Education 2006 and 2007 honorees. Dr. Dansereau has also worked with CEPM’s Sound Learning program, Creating Pride partnership, and Laboratory Learning School Network of the Music-in-Education National Consortium. She is a contributing author to the book Learning from Young Children: Research in Early Childhood Music, a contributor to Tips: The Child Voice, and has been published in conference proceedings and journals, which include Journal of Research in Music Education, The Music Educators Journal, Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association, and Massachusetts Music News.


Erika Cincotta: Vice President - Membership

Erika Cincotta lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado with her husband and three children. During her college years, she traveled around the country performing with the Tamburitzans, an Eastern European folk ensemble. Erika began teaching early childhood music at the Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore where she used a variety of curricula including Kindermusik®, Musikgarten®, and Sally’s Music Circle®. She became a licensed Music Together® teacher in 2004 and directed a center in Baltimore before moving to Colorado Springs where she continued teaching at a local Music Together center. Her current focus is on continuing her own education and on training early childhood professionals to teach music within the classroom.

In addition to her most important jobs as wife and mother, she has taught private flute and voice, performed with community choirs and church praise teams, taught early childhood music in private schools and daycares and is currently part of the orchestra for a local community theater production of Mary Poppins. Erika also enjoys running, hiking, skiing and folk dancing. She has a B.S. in Music Therapy from Duquesne University.

Erika’s vision is for the ECMMA to provide resources and valuable professional development opportunities for early childhood music and movement professionals, and to promote collaboration and cooperation among those professionals so that they can empower all early care providers with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to support and improve the music development of young children.



Anne Smith: Vice President – Finance & Fundraising

Anne Smith lives in Duxbury, MA with her three teenage children. As Director of Community Partnerships at South Shore Conservatory, she cultivates relationships with neighboring schools and social service organizations to increase access to the arts in underserved communities. She works with foundations, corporate sponsors and local donors to fund SSC’s access-based programs. Anne’s largest project at SSC is the ImagineARTS Residency, developed in 2012 in collaboration with a team of arts specialists, school administrators, classroom teachers, visiting musicians, literacy coaches and curriculum specialists. ImagineARTS provides a cutting-edge arts-integrated literacy curriculum to pre-K and Kindergarten students. It serves over 600 at-risk children, their teachers and families in Brockton, MA and is provided free-of-charge to its partner schools.

Anne received her B.A. in Asian Studies from Dartmouth College and completed coursework towards a Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from Yale University. She has taught Japanese to high school students, poetry to tweens, music to preschoolers and Opera History to seniors. She sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, performing both at Symphony Hall and in Lenox, MA with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She also sings with the Aujourd’hui Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber group. Anne brings to the ECMMA a deep commitment to creating life-long opportunities for enrichment through the arts (and extensive experience connecting programming to funding!)



Arielle Richter: Vice President – Social Media

Arielle Richter lives in Braintree, MA with her husband Jonathan and their son, Benjamin. Originally from Greenwich, CT she received a Bachelor of Arts degree is Music and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Connecticut. She is working toward completing a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization of Integrated Teaching through the Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

Arielle has been an elementary music teacher in Scituate, MA for six years. In Hingham, MA, she taught early childhood music at South Shore Conservatory, Hingham Nursery School, and at the JCC.

Arielle is currently writing her masters thesis on early childhood music and how it relates to language and motor skills development. Arielle is excited to share her passion of music and children with her colleagues.



Elisabeth Etopio: Vice President – Convention Site

Dr. Elisabeth Etopio, a former public school music teacher, holds a doctorate in Early Childhood Education from the University at Buffalo where she majored in elementary education with emphases in early childhood education and arts education. In 2005, the University Graduate School recognized her with an award for teaching with an excellence in teaching award. Dr. Etopio is highly sought after as a presenter on children’s music and creative movement responses at State and National Conferences. She has more than 12 years of experience teaching MusicPlay classes for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, and holds certification in Early Childhood Music Levels 1 & 2 from the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.

Dr. Etopio’s research interests include the professional development of early childhood teachers, the music learning of young children, and the relationship between children’s music learning and social, emotional, and cognitive development. Her most recent publication, entitled “The effects of music instructions on preschoolers’ music achievement and emergent literacy achievement,” appeared in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. In that study, Etopio and a team of researchers developed a music curriculum and preschool music assessment, guided early childhood teachers to implement the curriculum, and examined the results. They found that the musicianship of the early childhood teachers improved along with their pedagogical practice causing positive results on students’ music and emergent literacy achievement. Currently, Dr. Etopio and her students are scaling up that project by implementing the curriculum with Head Start children in the City of Buffalo and are examining its impact on literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional development.



Kerry Renzoni: Vice President – Convention Program

Kerry B. Renzoni is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Music Education at SUNY Buffalo State. She is also founder and director of the Early Childhood Music and Movement program for the Buffalo State Community Arts Academy. Prior to her work at Buffalo State, Kerry taught pre-k through fifth grade classroom music in which she prioritized creativity and improvisation in the music curricula. Additionally, she has served as Lead Teacher for the Early Childhood Music Foundations program at Temple University and has taught through the Early Childhood Music program at the Eastman Community Music School.

Kerry is an active researcher, conference presenter, and clinician at the state, national, and international levels. Her research interests include the role of environment in music learning, creativity, improvisation, and music literacy in early childhood and elementary music settings. She has worked with early childhood music teachers in Italy, Brazil, and China.

Kerry is Northeast Regional Representative for the National Association for Music Education Early Childhood Music Special Research Interest Group. She would like to continue working to strengthen connections between that group and ECMMA, providing teacher-friendly research resources and opportunities for early childhood music educators.

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