Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

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Movement Matters

After many years of making music with children, Eve Kodiak, M.M., became interested in the brain/body processes that underlie the learning process. As an Educational Kinesiologist, she now works with people of all ages, using music and developmental movement to create positive change. Eve can be found in her office at The Lydian Center for Innovative Medicine in Cambridge, MA, or at home in New Hampshire, writing and recording. Her CD/book sets include Rappin' on the Reflexes and Feelin' Free, which combine developmental movements with songs, raps, and narrations with music. Eve also performs and records as an improvising classical pianist. More information and articles on music and developmental movement may be found at www.evekodiak.com.

 
 
 
 

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

Tonight You Belong to Me: Conversing with the Dad

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I got an email from the dad who made the “Tonight You Belong To Me” video. (If you're just checking into this series for the first time, you might want to go back and read the last two posts).

It was a startling experience. We know that there are real people making these home videos on Youtube, people just like you and me. But I didn’t realize how much of a disconnect between knowing and knowing exists until that father’s name appeared in my website contact form.

It reminds me of a story

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Tonight You Belong To Me: Reactions and Reflections

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Eve in Concert Sunday Oct. 6 at 2 PM, Newton Free Library, MA – FREE! (Come a little early, this venue usually gets capacity crowds).

My last post, Tonight You Belong To Me, has only been up for a couple of days - but already, it’s sparked a lot of interesting email conversations. Keep the dialogue going! It is great to hear from you. Meanwhile, here are some more reflections on those conversations.

The Frame is (Almost) Everything. Some people were embarrassed that they had not noticed

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Tonight You Belong To Me

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New Englanders can hear me in concert, Sunday, October 6 at 2 PM at the Newton Free Library, 330 Homer St., Newton, MA, FREE! I’ll be playing some excerpts from my upcoming CD Sleep Like a Baby, improvising a new suite with the audience, and performing Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye in the original 4-hand piano version with Karen Melamed-Smith.

And for those who can’t make it – watch my website; clips will be posted soon.

Youtube, Sept. 17, 2013: Tonight You Belong to Me (Cover) - Me and my 4

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Scenes from YOUR Childhood

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I got my start in piano improvisation playing for children’s music classes. It was fantastic training. First of all, kids are not polite. If you get their attention, you know it. And you also know it if you don’t.

Second of all, when you are playing for children, you can immediately see the effect of your musical energy reflected in their movement. I learned how to play flying music that actually made kids feel like flying, horse-riding music that made them want to gallop, quiet music that

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Living in the Moment

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I had kind of a crazy summer. My neck got injured, and it took a couple of months to sort that out. I got stung by a wasp; my knee swelled up and my brain didn’t work so well for a few days. I crashed my car – fortunately, no one was hurt beyond a little whiplash, but it was quite traumatic – and then, while I was attempting to get my body back together in a movement class at the gym, I fell and hurt my hip. And a couple of days later, I got stung by a bee and my right hand swelled up.

One

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Summer Vacation, Summer School

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Summer vacation is one of the best learning interventions I know of – when we let it be summer vacation! It’s mid-August, and suddenly two of my clients with “reading problems” don’t seem to have them any more.

The parents were planning to have their children tutored over the summer. But, having seen the positive effects of reflex integration for their children, they were willing to trust my recommendation to take a vacation from academic work.

I find that, in order for new learning to

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Let’s Have a Due Month!

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It just happened again – a client told me that the ultrasound showed that she had a healthy baby, but that because she was past her due date, if she didn’t soon go into labor, she would be induced.

My client was distressed about this. She wanted to have what she called a “natural birth.” But she had been given no option.

I said, “It’s your decision.” She said, “Really?”

It is an odd thing, that this extraordinarily intimate bond between mother and unborn child is so routinely ignored.

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HOT Report

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I'm back from the Higher Order Thinking Summer Institute. It is always interesting to jump into a different fishbowl. I spent a week in July at Wesleyan University, swimming with teachers, principals, teaching artists, and consultants who are negotiating the rapidly changing currents of public education policy.

We used to be cushioned in Early Childhood Education – our kids didn’t used to be tested, or expected to meet academic standards until at least the second grade. But as one

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The Happiness : Stress Ratio

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There is a recipe for happiness. At least, there is a recipe for being more happy than not.

I’m extrapolating the recipe from some very interesting, physiology-based research by John Gottman and his team. His question was, “What makes some marriages last?” But I find that his answers can be applied to any relationship – inter- or intra-personal.

We all think that the types of interactions we have, with ourselves and others, matter. And of course, they do. But it turns out that they may

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H.O.T. Ticket: Building the Brain for Higher Order Thinking

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I’m getting ready to give a workshop at the H.O.T. (Higher Order Thinking) Schools Summer Institute in Connecticut (there’s probably still room to sign up, it’s a fantastic opportunity to play with other adults, hobnob with an impressive array of artists and educators, and learn a lot of practical stuff, too).

H.O.T. Schools are good news for the arts. Public schools in Connecticut can choose to become H.O.T. Schools – and once they do, the arts can’t be cut out of the curriculum. The

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Happiness is Normal

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It is simple, but we can’t seem to get it. Stress is not the state our bodies and brains were designed to sustain. Happiness is.

When I use the terms stress and happiness, I’m talking about the quantifiable physiological responses that unconsciously define our qualitative experiences. I’m using stress to mean what happens when the body’s alarm system perceives potential danger, and starts the preliminary freeze-fight-flight response. I’m talking about happiness as what happens in our

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Reality Check

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I was walking down the aisle of a natural foods store near my office in Cambridge, MA. This city is home to Harvard, M.I.T., and a lot of high-expectation parents, but even so, this (one-way) interchange I heard as I passed a toddler in his grocery cart seat left me breathless. The little boy’s mother was lecturing him, “You were responsible for remembering that you wanted that yogurt . . .”

Responsible? The little boy wasn’t even three years old. The (extremely abstract) concept of

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Experiencing the Gap

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I have been listening to a radio interview* with Tami Simon, the founder and CEO of the publishing company Sounds True - and something she said struck me as being true for us, as teachers, performers, parents, and people:

Recently, I gave a talk . . . and afterwards somebody came up to me and said, "Can I tell you what the most important part of your talk was? . . .  It was when you paused. What were you doing? What was happening?"

And then I paused again, and I tried to remember. . . in

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A Short Story About the Moro Reflex and My Dog

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It was going to be a hot day, so we started our walk early in the morning. There was no one else parked at the trailhead. My little dog ran happily up the trail in front of me, sniffing, poking, checking out the sensory landscape in the way he loves the best.

I find that taking a walk in a peaceful, calm environment is an excellent barometer of my inner peace and calm, because I know that any turbulence I feel is being generated from within. This morning, I noticed that my mind was

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Sounds as Syllables: Music and Literacy 6

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Come see me in the Bay Area, Sunday, May 19, at the Children's Music Network Northern California Regional Gathering! 1:30 PM at The Our Lady of Angels Church, 1335 Cortez Ave., Burlingame, CA.

To be able to break words on the page into their syllabic components is one of the most basic reading skills. But do children naturally hear words as a series of syllables?

Not really. When we are listening for words, we are usually listening for meaning. For instance, say the word elephant. What

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One, Two, Buckle My Sneaker: Music and Literacy 5

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Nursery Rhymes. It’s not a foregone conclusion today that most young children know nursery rhymes. Lots of them don’t. Even lots of their parents don’t. We’re losing one of the biggest tools we have – an unconsciously patterned treasure trove of rhythm and rhyme. Let’s bring it back!

One, two, buckle my shoe

Three, four, shut the door

Five, six, pick up sticks

Seven, eight, lay them straight

Nine, ten, a big fat hen!

Counting Rhymes. Counting rhymes are a great place to start the

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Reasons for Rhyme: Music and Literacy 4

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Little STAR

How I wonder what you ARE . . .

Have you ever thought about the miracle that is rhyme? In all the babble of the universe, two sounds lock together like the north and south poles of two magnets. Theybelong together! They make sense! We hear it!

With rhyme, we organize sounds in the mind and in the ear that make meaning on many different levels. Rhyme is fun to play with. Rhyme helps us to remember. Rhyme is one of the touchstones of phonological awareness, a

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Reasons for Rhyme. Music and Literacy 4

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Little STAR

How I wonder what you ARE . . .

Have you ever thought about the miracle that is rhyme? In all the babble of the universe, two sounds lock together like the north and south poles of two magnets. Theybelong together! They make sense! We hear it!

With rhyme, we organize sounds in the mind and in the ear that make meaning on many different levels. Rhyme is fun to play with. Rhyme helps us to remember. Rhyme is one of the touchstones of phonological awareness, a

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Reading and Writing and Singing!  Music and Literacy 3

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Note: If you haven’t yet read the previous post: The World of the Word, go back! This post will make a lot more sense if you read that one first.

Phonological Awareness and Literacy

“A child’s phonological awareness knowledge has been described as the best single predictor of reading performance.” G. T. Gillon, Phonological Awareness: From Research to Practice, 2004.

This is an interesting statement for those of us who work with children and music, because phonological awareness is an

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The World of the Word: Music and Literacy 2

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What We Assume

When a child listens to language, it is hard to know exactly what that child is hearing.

We tend to assume and extrapolate. The child babbles “ba. . .” “Ball?” we say helpfully, holding up a toy. “He said his first word,” we proudly tell the family, friends, teachers.

But do we really know  that “ba” referred to the object at all?

And even when”ba” does have some connection with the ball (and it often does), a young child is probably not making a one-to-one

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