Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

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The Parent Connection

The Parent Connection focuses on music learning during those miraculous years during which every child is a prodigy – early childhood. As a parent, grandparent, music teacher for 40+ years, music teacher educator, and early childhood music and movement specialist, Dr. Townsend brings a broad perspective to ideas and issues affecting parents and families.

Dr. Townsend has headed the music teacher education program and directed the instrumental program at Maranatha Baptist University since 1996. In that capacity, he teaches early childhood music and movement classes daily at the university's Kiddie Kampus, teaching infants through 4 year old children.

 
 
 
 

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

Part 3: Lorna Heyge – Circle of Inspiration

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In the previous two articles, we discussed Lorna’s pre-Musikgarten life and the events that led up to the Musikgarten curriculum. Portrait of a Pioneer focused on her early years, and on the experiences that led to her initial early childhood music and movement curriculum development in the United States. Growth of a Vision addressed the Kindermusik years and the early collaborations that were most influential in her thinking as the Kindermusik curriculum developed from its earliest days as

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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

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Lorna Heyge: Portrait of a Pioneer

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Introduction

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

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Advocating to Ourselves: What Keeps Us In It?

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Following is an article that I wrote for The Wisconsin School Musician a few years ago, during a time of great change in our state's educational system - change that would eventually impact many, if not most, state school systems throughout the United States. As I reflect back on the fear and frustrations that public school teachers faced at the time, I am reminded that there are few times in which there is not some serious challenge to our ability to share the gifts that we so sincerely seek

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Melanie’s Cave

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I observed the fascination in the infants’ eyes as they reached, mouths wide open, for the bubbles drifting to the carpet. Their coordination improved as the game continued and their verbal expressions changed with the events of each succeeding moment. Now and then, one would look toward a caregiver and deliver a vocalic statement that left little doubt as to its meaning. Often, as we sing and chant to the infants, it seems that their babble represents a special kind of counterpoint – even if

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Freedom in ECMM: A Thanksgiving Reflection

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What a wonderful idea is Thanksgiving. Whether you observed it five weeks ago in Canada, or will observe it this coming Thursday in the US (or both), taking a day to reflect in thankfulness is one of the great ideas of our age. Today I will reflect on two freedoms for which I am most thankful as a music teacher: 1. Freedom to freely exchange ideas in general, and 2. Freedom of religion. Of course there are many more freedoms to be enjoyed, and many other things besides our freedoms for which

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Phyllis Weikart: Helping Others to Succeed

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It was 1996, and I was a first-year college instructor teaching an aural skills class. I was leading a rhythm drill, and the students were rocking left and right to the macrobeat while patsching microbeats on their thighs. A boy named Jason, 6’4” and nearly 300 lbs. was having difficulty with the physical motions, so I eventually invited him to stay after class for some additional practice.

I had attended a Gordon certification workshop the previous summer, and at one point Dr. Gordon had

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Teaching’s Greatest Disposition

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Teaching teachers can be enormously challenging - and rewarding. We teacher educators have, for years, been charged with developing and assessing three broad competencies in our pre-service teachers; Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions. Knowledge, being the easiest area to address academically, has done quite well. Skills are a bit more dicey to accomplish, but some of the most intriguing improvements in teacher education have addressed the skill of teaching.

Most difficult to nail down,

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Feed It To The Goat

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New friends, new ideas, new alliances, new foods, new, new, new… conventions and conferences are all about “new,” aren’t they? And as the years progress, new becomes familiar, and eventually old – to be replaced by new news. I remember when I first learned about behavioral objectives. I was a college senior, and within months 1970s convention workshops began to fill with strategies for adapting to, and adopting these new educational strategies. In similar fashion, I remember many more new

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Joyce Jordan-DeCarbo: A Shared Journey

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Selecting a keynote speaker is always one of the first, and most important, decisions for a convention committee, but the decision to invite Joyce Jordan to keynote the 2014 convention was an easy one for everyone involved. Few individuals have had as much influence as Dr. Jordan in the development of ECMMA, and of early childhood music in general. And her influence continues into her retirement years as this month she headlines what will be perhaps the most exciting group of speakers, ever,

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Educational Transformation: Opportunity or Threat?

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Yes. The answer is yes to both options. Education’s current transformations, as with most changes we experience, represent both threats and opportunities. When in history has so much been available to so many for so little? I remember when the only ways for most people to supplement their learning (outside of organized education systems) were at the public library or with the ever-present (and immediately outdated) set of encyclopedia in a corner of the living room.

But all of this has

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Gordon

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Sometimes it is best for me to just step back and get out of the way. Actually – usually. Today I’ll tell you a story, and then leave the rest to the guest of honor.

It was the summer of 1996, and I was seeking a refresher course in elementary general music. I had just signed a contract to teach at the college level - fulltime for the first time, and my first teaching load included elementary general music methods. So I sought a refresher course on Orff, Kodaly, Dalcroze, and any other

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...And So Much More

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ECMMA Convention 2014 Early Bird Day has arrived! Register here.

I’ve spent so much time talking about the amazing lineup of featured speakers at this year’s ECMMA Convention in Atlanta that I risk giving the impression that these seven are all that is happening – as if that were not enough. Even if none of these speakers were coming, the lineup of 19 regular breakout speakers would be well worth any efforts to attend. (Yes, there are really 19 more!)

The seven general session speakers

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Jill Hannagan: Teaching With Passion

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It has been a rare personal privilege to write this most recent series of articles about the general session speakers at the 2014 ECMMA Convention, allowing me to become better acquainted with some of ECMM’s finest leaders. While I have known, or known of, each of these individuals for several years, I was not prepared for the unique richness that their collective lives represent. Each will be bringing a similar, but unique, life message to Atlanta in June.

The fact that all of these

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Ken Guilmartin: More Than The Sum

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Today we introduce yet another of our great featured presenters for the 2014 ECMMA Convention this June in Atlanta. Previously, we have introduced John Feierabend, Lynn Kleiner, and Carol Penney. We will follow with more such introductions as we march into the final weeks before the great event. Ken Guilmartin, founder and president of Music Together, is today's feature.

So what do you do when your beloved kindergarten teacher asks you to mouth the words while the rest of the class is

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Carol Penney – Mission With A Heart

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Today we have an opportunity to meet yet another of our wonderful slate of featured 2014 convention speakers, Carol Penney. Carol serves as Director of Education for Kindermusik International. She will be presenting a Wednesday morning general session and a breakout at the 2014 ECMMA Convention in Atlanta this coming June.

Early Years

Carol grew up in a musical home. Her father, Wade Denning, was a professional conductor/composer/arranger, and wrote numerous commercials in the early days

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Graduate Credits: New Opportunity Through ECMMA

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ECMMA continues to expand her offerings to the early childhood music and movement community by collaborating to offer fully accredited, blended or completely online, variable credit (1-3) graduate courses. Graduate students seeking to include early childhood music and movement as an elective for their degree programs may now do so through this new partnership.

Fully Accredited

In partnership with Maranatha Online, ECMMA’s graduate courses are regionally accredited by North Central

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Revisiting An ECMMA Blessing on St. Patrick’s Day

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Sometimes we really get it right. I'll just get out of the way and let you watch the video. Notice...

1. Most of the children in this class have cognitive and/or physical impairments, but they are being taught in a very normal manner - maximizing their opportunities. A musical vocabulary is being used throughout.
2. This class has three para-professionals assisting with the unique needs of some of the children - in addition to the teacher and student teacher.
3. The activity includes both

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Facebook For My Studio? ...Maybe…

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The question of whether or not to employ social media in our businesses has quickly become the 21st century’s most obvious answer. Of course we want to use social media, and many feel that the more we engage, the better. And Facebook has quickly risen to prominence as a contemporary first among equals.

But does Facebook really address our online communication needs? Can it protect where we need protecting while, at the same time, illuminating and highlighting where it counts most? What can

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Be The Curriculum

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I’ve had writer’s block for several months now. I just could not think of anything that I wanted to say in print. So it was a delight when something Andrea Apostoli wrote his most recent post (Music’s Expanding Boundaries found elsewhere in the ECMMA blog area) jogged my thinking about a topic that is dear to my heart.

What Makes A Good Curriculum?

Whenever I choose to write on this topic, the readership and response is strong, so it is apparently a question that is on many minds. But

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ECMMA is grateful for the ongoing sponsorship of our Supporting Businesses and Organizations. Please be sure to thank them for their efforts in supporting Early Childhood Music and Movement. Learn more about ECMMA Supporting Businesses.