Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

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The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily promote official policy of ECMMA.

Old MacDonald: A Teacher’s Report

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When Was The Last Time You Felt Totally Happy? Come for a weekend with me of creative reflex integration at the Rowe Center in the Berkshires. 

My friend and colleague Liz Hannan is a traveling minstrel who brings her magical music circles to children in preschools south of San Francisco. She invited me to come with her to one in February, when I was getting ready to present a workshop to the Bay Area Montessori Association. This is her report.

Eve Kodiak came with me to my largest


Original Play, Original Reflexes 2: In Practice

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Change Your Movement, Change Your Life! Spend a weekend playing with me and Libana dancer Linda Ugelow at Rowe Center in the Berkshires April 17-19.

In my last post, I talked about the magic of Original Play as practiced by psychologist Fred Donaldson. Crawling, rolling, tussling like puppies pulls all the reflexes together into one big mass of original fun.

Reflexes are like letters of the alphabet – abstractions we use so that we can break down movement into patterns, analyze them, talk


Original Play, Original Reflexes: 1 In Theory

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Spend a weekend with me, playing and integrating reflexes at Rowe Center in the Berkshires April 17-19. Change Your Movement, Change Your Life!

Last summer, I took a workshop at the International Edu-K Conference with psychologist O. Fred Donaldson called Original Play. It wasn’t your usual workshop, where you sit in chairs, listen, do discreet activities, take notes. All the furniture was pushed to the sides of the room, and we spent most of the time on all fours, playing.



Getting to Know You

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I spoke with a family about attending one of my sessions the other day. They were excited to start music with me and I was excited to meet them. Things were going great until I mentioned that I wanted some time with them prior to our first session to get to know them. Suddenly our conversation changed.

Why do I need to do this? I typically only see kids with special needs. Part of being a music therapist is that I do an assessment before I start treatment. With my families, this means that


Circle Time Ripples 2

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If you’re in Northern California Feb. 28, you might catch me teaching a workshop on Circle Time for the Bay Area Montessori Association. All are invited! Information? and to register.  

A couple of years ago, my Children’s Music Network colleague Liz Hannan invited me to observe her circle times as a music specialist in Montessori schools. She was using some of my materials and wanted some feedback.

It was a very interesting experience for me. Liz is a skilled entertainer, and the


Circle Time Ripples 1

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On Saturday, February 28, I’ll be in Palo Alto, teaching a workshop for the Bay Area Montessori Association. We’ll be exploring ways to use the infant reflexes in group settings - both to release the triggers that create negative feedback loops, and to enhance new learning. I’ll be focusing on my Listenin’ Live for Literacy pilot curriculum. All are invited! Click here for  information, and her to Register.

Circle Time means different things in different settings. Sometimes, it is simply


Embracing Change

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 As many of you know, most of my work is with children in early intervention. This is a federally based and state run program for children with special needs from birth to three. As the kids approach their third birthday they transition into early childhood/preschool programs. This is a big change for the kids and an even bigger change for the parents. Here are a few ways we can help our families make transitions less stressful.

Talk about it early: I start talking about transition about a


Part 2: Lorna Heyge – Growth of a Vision

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I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, There is nothing wrong with change. To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often. Change and growth have certainly marked Lorna’s journey - from her earliest days in rural New York state through all her work with curriculum and business models.

She views her career as reflecting three separate stages of growth in curriculum development. Today we focus on those stages; a) her American adaptation of the German curriculum, resulting in


Lorna Heyge: Portrait of a Pioneer

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We will always be indebted to our pioneers – our visionaries. They affect every part of our lives, but usually in complete anonymity. So this is why, now and then, we do well to take a moment to consider those individuals who have walked before and among us – providing a service, showing a path.

This is one of those moments. Practically everyone who hangs a shingle with the words Early Childhood Music Teacher owes some debt of gratitude to the lifelong work and passion of


Reflexes Are Not Just For Infants 2

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Spend a weekend with me in the Berkshires! Change Your Movement, Change Your Life! comes April 17-19 to Rowe Camp and Conference Center. We’ll take the reflexes into creative movement,discussion, journaling, walks in the woods, good food and just hanging out.. Co-taught by Linda Ugelow, principal dancer with Libana.

The idea for Change Your Movement, Change Your Life! came while I was going through a rough patch with my aging parents (Nothing in my life really prepared me for becoming a


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