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.

Trusting The Tooth Fairy


“Did you get a letter from the tooth fairy?” I ask a six year-old client. The last time I saw her, she had lost a tooth, and was anticipating her upcoming correspondence with this exciting personage.

“Yes, I asked her what she wears,” she replies. “Her clothes are made of flowers!”

When I was a child, my parents believed that my siblings and I were too intelligent to believe in fairy tales. But looking back, I can see that the superiority I was able to feel over my gullible peers was a


Too Wiggly To Sit Still: Moving into Calm


Meet me at the ECMMA Convention August 5 - 8! I'll be presenting "Reflexes: The Rosetta Stone of Children's Movement" in a breakout session, and visiting with folks at my vendor table.

In Too Scared To Come In, I shared Wave Hello, one of the reflex integration raps from the upcoming CD/Book Set, Listenin’ Live. A couple of people said that they loved the rap and couldn’t wait to use it. I really do listen to comments from readers! So let’s jump on that sense of enthusiasm and go on to


Where Do We Go Now?


Where Do We Go Now?, an astonishing movie by Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, begins with a parallel set of scenes. As the film opens, we see a desert landscape. A group of women dressed in black is walking toward us, in dreamlike, ritual step, singing, beating their chests with what turn out to be photos. They turn into the graveyard, where they visit their sons and husbands – casualties of Muslim-Christian warfare.

The second scene is a group of men – mostly boys, although the stout


Movies Can Change Your Mind


A little boy came to see me recently. He is one of those children who seem to be constantly ramped up. When they begin to get tired, these children pour on the adrenalin. It is as if a state of rest feels dangerous to them; they must be ever vigilant.

I often begin my sessions by handing children (ages 5 -10)  a “magic wand.”

“Make a wish,” I say. Sometimes, I give examples. “It could be something you’d like to do, or to do more easily – like to sleep better,” I offer.

I am surprised at


Too Scared To Come In: Moving Into Presence


This is the second post describing an ECMMA workshop held April 23, 2012. The first is An Inspiration of Colleagues

On a rainy April Sunday, the traffic on Rte. 6 in was flowing down the shoulder and toward the crooked elbow of Cape Cod. But in the direction of the Bourne Bridge and Boston, miles of cars were barely moving. As I pulled into Meryl’s Music and Arts for the workshop I was about to teach, I wondered if I, too, would be creeping along the asphalt a few hours from now.



Mother’s Day: Something We Celebrate



Platitudes are familiar ideas that can be said without thinking. But, when you think about them, most clichés reveal a deep and universal source.

Here’s one: Everyone alive is the child of a mother.

I can’t even describe how strange it is for me to think about. I walk around, seeing mothers – doing the shopping, driving the cars, at work with photos of their children on their desks – and the sheer volume of relationship is staggering to think about. Every one of those mothers is


Being With Soul


For the last six or eight months, I’ve been conducting a personal experiment. I’ll tell you about it. But first, a confession.

Deep down, I find people difficult.

To me, most people are, at least at times, unpredictable. They say one thing and mean another. They seem to like you and then they don’t. They’re there for you and suddenly, they’re not, in tiny ways and sometimes in big ways. They get emotional and over-react to stuff. Sometimes they apologize. Sometimes not.

And I also know


An Inspiration of Colleagues


On Sunday, April 22, ECMMA held a couple of workshops on Cape Cod, hosted by Meryl Vujs at Meryl’s Music and Arts. I “gave” the first one, although I feel as if the workshop was given to me! There is nothing like sitting in a circle with experienced teachers, and getting feedback on your work.

My workshop focused on some of the new songs (along with the neurological and movement theory behind them) from my upcoming CD/Book Set, Listenin’ Live. This projecthas been in the works for so many


Good and Evil and Children’s Stories

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I haven’t seen The Hunger Games. It disturbs me that a story about children forced to fight to the death has become, overnight, one of the largest grossing movies ever.

But I’m a wuss. I have to admit that I didn’t even make it through the Harry Potter series. I read the first book pretty much in one sitting. But something about it didn’t feel right to me.

As I child, I read magic books by the score. E. Nesbit, Edward Eager, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Patricia McKillip and, of course, C. S.


Reading Poems With Children


I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from work, just before 8 PM - right when Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac airs on my local NPR station. So I turned off the engine, and listened to a poem.

Although my mind had been filled with the stress of the day, listening to the poem, I left my mind behind. Sitting in my car in the grocery store parking lot at 8 PM on a Wednesday night, I was at peace.

Do you remember a poetry book you had as a child? I had a magical one, an




When I heard the poet read this, I couldn’t believe it. What could be better than wisdom mixed with laughter?


Bear with me I

want to tell you

something about


it’s hard to get at

but the thing is

I wasn’t looking

I was looking

somewhere else

when my son found it

in the fruit section

and came running

holding it out

in his small hands

asking me what

it was and could we

keep it it only

cost 99 cents

hairy and brown

hard as a


Circle of Friends: Children’s Music Network


I was driving around in circles, trying to find the way in to the big school that housed the Children’s Music Network Annual New England Gathering, and a woman rolled down her window and called out, “You park in the back!” She knew who I was and what I needed without asking.

The whole day was like that. The Children’s Music Network Annual New England Gathering seems to be a time when old friends get together to share songs and catch up on their lives. Except that the definition of “old


Two Kinds of Automatic

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I’ll be presenting “If You’re Happy and You Know It, Integrate A Reflex!” on Saturday, March 24th for the Children’s Music Network Annual New England Gathering in Newton, MA. Bring your questions!

There are two kinds of automatic. One is the kind we practice to achieve. We may lose our balance many times before we ride a two-wheeled bicycle. We practice a lot of scales before we play a flawless run on the piano, and we shoot hundreds of free throws before we can rely on that swish.



Wriggle, Creep, Crawl, Walk (“Playlist” III)

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Come sing and move with me Saturday March 24 in Newton, MA, at the Children's Music Network New England Gathering! We'll explore reflex integration through children's songs. Bring your questions!

This is a sequel to the previous post, So I Left The Playlist . . . which is a sequel to When To Leave The Playlist, posted Feb. 4, 2012).

In my last post, we explored a song/movement game that can be used when the children get wiggly. In this post, we’ll explore ways to turn the I Am A LizardRead More...

So I Left the Playlist . . . (“Playlist” II)


This is the first sequel to When To Leave The Playlist, posted Feb. 4, 2012).

So here I am, a visiting teacher in a preschool music class, with a dozen high school students and their teacher watching me, hanging on my every word (?), with copies of my lesson plan in their hands –

but I’ve had to jettison my playlist. About halfway through the class, these preschoolers showed me that their developmental needs had very little to do with my next song/movement choice. They spontaneously


Mirror Neurons VII: Resonance


I’m thinking again about the Robert Kegan model of The Evolving Self. It is in the shape of a helix. The growing human moves between the poles of differentiation and relationship, spiraling into ever higher octaves of meaning.

In this developmental diagram, as newborns we arrive in a state of Oneness that is “all subject” – there is no “object,” because they perceive an undifferentiated world. As we grow, we begin to recognize “other” in more and more complex ways. We acquire the ability to


Listen! One Year Later


Some of you may remember my letter from the front of teenage rock band rehearsals (Listen! Feb. 20, 2011). Last year, there was a little problem with the drummer’s sense of rhythm. So this year, my son and his bassist friend invited the most awesome drummer in the school to join them. This kid’s hero is Dream Theatre’s drummer Mike Portnoy, who can probably count as well as anyone living (if anyone has questions about the seriousness of contemporary rock musicianship, a few seconds of Mike


When to Leave the Playlist ...


Yesterday, I traveled to a preschool to teach a music class. It was an interesting setting. The preschool is housed in a high school in a working class city, and high school students (always girls) work with the preschoolers for credit, supervised by an experienced teacher. I was a guest come in to teach a music segment.

Of course, I brought my playlist.           

More and more, I’ve been structuring my music classes around types of movement. Music is the medium, of course, but these


Mirror Neurons VI: Call and Response


Writing this series on Mirror Neurons has started to change me. Could it be that the way a very young child sees the world describes a truer reality than our adult eyes can see?

Most developmental models show us evolving, from a “magical” state in which all minds interpenetrate, to a “mature” mindset based upon independence and separation. We create an ego and sustain it. We invent games, and negotiate the rules. We have “mine” and “yours.” We copyright and trademark and patent, buy and



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Have you ever heard the blues in Spanish? If you’d listend at my office door last Wednesday afternoon, you would have. After a while, the too-many-burger blues (Song Into Speech, Speech Into Song)  morphed into Luis’ mothertongue.

Luis es enferma!” (I chord). Gales of laughter from Luis.

“No, tu estás enfermo!” Luis manages to gasp out (IV). My attempts at Spanish always crack him up.

“Tu estás enfermo?”(I chord, I keep playing).

More laughter. “Si, tu estás enfermo,”(V-IV) . . .


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