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.

Eve’s October Journal

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October 6, Concert at the Newton, MA, library. This was so much fun – especially playing Ravel's Ma Mere L’Oye for piano four-hands with my childhood friend, Karen Melamed. The performance is a testimony to the power of playing music with children, and having children play music with one another. We were assigned to be piano duet partners at a music camp when we were eleven years old! It was fun playing together then, and even more fun playing together now.

I was reminded of how wonderful Ma Mere L’Oye is as a piece for children. The programmatic elements are so original, yet obvious, and very cool-sounding. The conversation between Beauty and the Beast, with the Beast imploring in the low register and Beauty demurring in the high is a triumph of musical dialogue. This could be a great improvisational prompt – a conversation between two characters. It’s very easy to do on the piano, with the different registers making very different kinds of sounds, but it could be done with any instruments – or even voices.

October 16, Observing Montessori Music Classes in the Bay Area. My talented friend Liz Hannan (“Miss Liz” to the children) invited me to shadow her as she brought her little guitar and bag of tricks from school to school. Our journey prompted a great discussion about the goals of early childhood music classes. Is the priority to entertain, edify, excite the mind? Or is the priority to experience, integrate, calm the mind? (This warrants a whole post – coming one of these weeks!)

October 18, Final Conversation with the Tonight You Belong To Me Dad I’d him written about my concern that there would be media opportunities for his little daughter, and that continued publicity would not be a positive experience for her. He wrote back to tell me that he had, in fact, received invitations for the girl to appear on various shows, but had refused them all. He considered removing the video, but found that it had already appeared on other YouTube channels. What he wrote me is an inspiration for all of us who parent and work with children.

 “We have no desire for fame nor to rob our daughter of her childhood innocence. In the end and from the comments, our little video has done more good than any harm to the world. If it can inspire parents to spend time with their kids, encourage music, or just display the beauty of humanity, than it is worth leaving. It was a beautiful slice of life that can't be recreated nor replicated, but will be left there to inspire anyone who comes across it. This is how we've come to terms with it all.”

October 18-20, Children’s Music Network International Conference, Los Gatos, CA. A totally wonderful time and a motherlode of information, music, and friendship! Check out the previous post for details. 

October 22, Observing and Presenting at the San Francisco Waldorf School.I got to watch a fourth grade draw, a seventh grade do movement, and to present to a group of teachers on reflex integration. So interesting to experience such different and powerful educational philosophies as Montessori and Waldorf in such a short span of time! Had a thought-provoking discussion about teaching movement through song lyrics – what are the benefits of literally describing the movements in words (Lean to the right . . . )? What are the benefits of simply acting out a story (Pick an apple . . . )? More food for future posts.

October 23, Launched a Kickstarter Project for Sleep Like a Baby CD. I’m coming out with a new piano improvisation album this fall, based on lullabies and love songs. I decided to put my foot in the ocean of flash-funding. Not sure about the current yet, but I did get to make a nice video in which I play the piano and talk about the music.

October 27, Improvisation with My Son (Church Service Prelude). It was the last service of a beloved pastor who was retiring. My son was sitting with the cello – we were to play a slow movement together – but first we started improvising together on a hymn tune. It was about fifteen minutes before we needed to get to the page.

When my son was in junior high, he wouldn’t improvise, so I took him with me to a weekend improvisation workshop with Music for People.  He was almost the only kid there, but he enjoyed the independence (we went to separate classes) and he found cellist David Darling to be an inspiring model. At fifteen, he spent a summer at the Walden School  a place where young people study musical composition – and also improvise.

It was such a privilege to have that private musical conversation with my son, and together to set the mood for an occasion that touched so many people. Our life together is not all roses – practicing for the event the night before, we had fought. Parenting a teen-ager is almost as difficult asbeing a teen-ager.

But when we create a musical language that we share with our kids from an early age, the payback is huge. When words fail, when emotions run high, there is another place we can go. It is a beautiful place.

And sometimes, we can bring others there with us.

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