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.

Singing in Slovenia

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Do you know where Slovenia is? I didn’t, when the invitation came to teach a workshop there on reflex integration. The producer must have known that; she wrote me that it is a beautiful country bordering Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Italy. And it is. I stepped off the plane March 26 into the small Ljubljana airport, after a red-eye from Boston via Munich - and I was immediately filled with joy. I don’t think I have ever felt that in an airport before. The energy was just fantastic.

I think that was because the surrounding mountains that cup the valley are so – awesome!  Nothing on the human scale can pollute that high (literally) vibration. Everywhere I went, I was ringed by huge, snow-covered alps. It kind of puts life into perspective.

The people were great, too. My initial three-day workshop contained about fifteen people – all women except for one man, which is pretty typical, I find, for our field. There were special ed teachers, physical therapists, a psychiatrist, Brain Gym instructors, early childhood professionals, art therapists, and parents – and after the initial shyness, they were the friendliest group I have every taught.

But what I most want to say to this audience of Early Childhood Music professionsals – they SING. The first morning, as I was demonstrating a way to get forward/backward motion across the midlines into a song/game activity, I launched into Row, Row, Row Your Boat with a partner – sitting on the floor, holding hands and pressing feet and “rowing” back and forth – and the entire group started singing along. In a round. Beautiful sonority, perfectly blended.

And this was not a group of music teachers. These were regular people.

I’ve taught a lot of groups in schools and conferences in the U.S. and I have never had this experience before. I mean, when I present at an Orff Conference, of course people sing, it is expected, it is what we do. And when I present at public schools I expect half the people to be silent and to hear a lot of rusty, half-speaking voices.

But I have never had the experience before of singing in a culture where “normal” people just still sing, sing growing up, sing for fun, sing without reserve or self-consciousness. I felt as if I had gone back in time to how it used to be, before technology and recorded music and videos penetrated every aspect of our lives – back to a time when people just sang.

I had a lot of great moments in Slovenia, but in a way for me, that was the best one – being surrounded by the innocent joy of adults just singing – beautifully – bringing what was clearly a long experience of singing as children into their lives, their work, and into the NOW as their gift to me.

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