Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

ECMMA: Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

Greater Washington, DC

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Greater Washington, DC Chapter of ECMMA
The region’s professional association for teachers of early childhood music & movement


Sunday, October 27th 2013

3:00 – 5:30 pm

Harlow Hall North Chevy Chase Christian Church

8814 Kensington Parkway North Chevy Chase, MD 20815


Cognitive Scientist, Musician and Mother

What do we mean when we say that "music moves us", and that we "feel the beat"? Research in the field of neuroscience teaches us that music and movement shape the brain from the earliest days of life, and continue to impact brain functioning throughout the lifespan. The evidence suggests that most of us have rhythm, although there are rare cases of musical brain disorders, including the recently documented disorder, beat deafness. Research from evolutionary, developmental, and neuropsychological perspectives can illuminate the nature and origins of the musical brain. 

Copy and paste this link onto YouTube.com search bar for an informative video:        www.youtube.comwatch?v=oZ575WOPnnw


Jessica Phillips-Silver is a researcher in music neuroscience, a musician, and a mother. Jessica earned a Bachelor of Humanities and Arts in psychology and music from Carnegie Mellon University, a Ph.D. in auditory development and music perception at McMaster University, and conducted postdoctoral research in the International Laboratory of Brain, Music and Sound in Montreal. Jessica's original research examines how 'feeling the beat' in music is a multisensory experience, even in babies, and she documented the first case of the musical disorder 'beat deafness'. Jessica’s work is published in journals including Science, Neuropsychologia, and Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, and has been featured in USA Today, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Men’s Health, the Atlantic, NPR and the Discovery Channel. Jessica has reviewed and edited popular science books on music and the brain, including Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, The Power of Music, and Welcome to your Child's Brain. She gives public talks at venues like the Ontario Science Center’s Science Cafe, and the District of Columbia’s haven for artists, BloomBars. Jessica is a vocalist on Cuban Jazz pianist and composer Yoel Diaz’ album Encuentros, including the original ballad, Maybe It’s Better, which the Latin Jazz Network called “breathtaking”. With the essential insight of a parent of a two-year-old (and a big sense of humor), Jessica turns her professional attention from the science laboratory to the public sphere, in the telling of delightful, fascinating and timely stories of how the young brain is shaped by that most complex and awesome of human behaviors: music.


RSVP: Reservations Required RSVP or Regrets as soon as possible to Regina Lacy, ms.ginamusicteacher@gmail.com

ADMISSION: Free for ECMMA-GWDC members.  Membership annual dues is $18.00 per member and  $15.00 for group of five or more.  Fees are due October 27, 2013. (Annual Year 2013-14)

Program only is $18.00 per person and $15.00 for group of five or more.

REFRESHMENTS: Please bring light refreshments to share!     See you soon!

Please click here for downloadable flyer

Please contact Chapter Officers for information

President:  Gina Lacy -- ms.ginamusicteacher@gmail.com

Vice President: Gabriela Cohen-- GCohen@levineschool.org

Program Coordinator:  Keely Lacy -- KeelyLacy@gmail.com


Click below to open a registration form for the Washington DC Chapter.
Please print it, complete and bring to the next meeting or mail.  We welcome new members!

ECMMA-GWDC Member Registration Form



The Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter has a rich history and newsletters which you may enjoy reading. 

Links to the newsletters are below.  Enjoy!


  • Chapter Activities

We have two large meetings a year (Fall and Spring) during which we usually try to provide training opportunities for our members.  Sometimes we hire clinicians and sometimes we draw from our own membership.  We always sing opening and closing rounds and enjoy social time/potluck as well.  

We also have more informal "Interest Group Meetings" that anyone can set up at home or elsewhere. 

  • Newsletters

We try to make our newsletter, "Musings," relevant to all --
including those outside our chapter,
so please enjoy by clicking on the newsletter you wish to read below.

December (Fall) 2009 newsletter 

The December (Fall) '09 issue reports on "Beyond the Bars," a workshop exploring use of Orff and Kodaly approaches in a manner specifically appropriate for the preschool population. Lynn Rechel, a PhD candidate at the Hartt School of Music and a music teacher and co-author of the Arlington, VA public schools preschool music standards, led the program.  Caron Dale and Beth Rubens, both early childhood music teachers in the Washington DC area, are featured in their unique musical journeys of becoming cantors."BOOK CORNER" by Vera Owens unfolds the story and related musical activities of animals in winter snow through the book "Oh" by Kevin Henkes.  In "OF NOTE" Kaja Weeks summarizes a 2009 study by neuroscientist Nina Kraus that provides biological (brain-based) evidence of musical training enhancing an individual's ability to recognize emotion in sound and its implications. Chapter member performances, publications, news and awards are noted, as well as a list of new members.

June (Spring) 2009 newsletter

The June (Spring) '09 issue describes our chapter's offering of a Family Music Afternoon that was attended by about 75 people on a "cold, rainy, spring day" that turned out to be a wonderful event.  There are also "Tips"we put together from our experiences of planning and carrying it out.  Vera Owens' BOOK CORNER is ripe for reading and trying out!  She presents a beautifully thought-out and crafted series of classes related to Frog went a-courtin' complete with songs, movement and games.  The "OF NOTE" in Research column by Kaja Weeks has a book review of Kenneth Phillips' book "Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy."

December (Fall) 2008 newsletter
The December (Fall) '08 issue has some nice ideas about using specific circle dances: A Chicken and a chicken and a crowd of crows; Here we go Zodio, Little Sally Walker, Washerman (from India), and Circle round the zero, as well as interesting historical perspectives on Little Sally Walker.  Vera's BOOK CORNER (by Vera Owens) discusses books and activities in a column titled "Singing Games and Stories"  and includes such perennial favorites as Paw-Paw Patch, The Noble Duke of York, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, and London Bridges Falling Down.  Kaja Weeks gives a brief review of Daniel Levitin's book, "The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature."
June (Spring) 2008 newsletter

The May (Spring) '08 issue covers "Drumming for Joy," a training and experiential workshop for which we called in master drum circle facilitator, Jacqui MacMillan.  Vera's BOOK CORNER offers many creative ways to use books with drumming, singing and movement.  A SPOTlight on one of our chapter members, Corinne Mvou Turner, details her early life growing up in central Africa, where drumming and singing were inseparable from daily life.
This issue summarizes our chapter meeting, "The Young Child's Singing Voice."  Vera Owens suggests a creative and wide-reaching musical use of the story "The Big Fat Hen" in Vera's BOOK CORNER.  Kaja Weeks considers the importance of gestures when working with children in music and movement and reports research in an exploratory study done on this topic.  Katie Cole, a music teacher who is also working on her master's degree in Kodaly at the Hartt School of Music,  is featured in SPOTlight on members.  Special Interest Group meetings are summarized: 1.) Music and Special Needs and 2.) Use of piano or keyboard in Monica Dale's MusiKinesis, a contemporary approach to Dalcroze.
"Circle, Contra  & Folk: A Gathering of Song and Dance," our spring chapter meeting is described.  Guest contributer Lara Davis writes an insightful column describing and advocating  teacher use of the ukulele with preschool children.  Kaja Weeks relays information from a research report which provides concrete evidence that playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem's sensitivity to speech sounds.  Regina Lacy Wilt offers a photo montage of the ECMMA NE Regional Conference.
This issue describes our shared activities and dancing at a member-donated meeting space in a unique art museum.  Vera Owens writes about "Books that Move You" in Vera's BOOK CORNER.  The work of Dr. Lori Custodero, of Columbia University, pertaining to the role of singing in children's daily lives is summarized by Kaja Weeks in "OF NOTE."  Regina Lacy Wilt offer "Teacher TIPS and Beyond."

May (Spring) 2006 newsletter

The first newsletter describes the start of our chapter and our first meeting activities.  Vera's BOOK CORNER is about "Over in the Meadow," a counting rhyme.  Kaja Weeks' "Of Note" in research summarizes findings by Laurel Trainor showing that applying movement with babies strengthens their musical perception.  "SPOTlight on Members" is an interview with Maddy O'Neill-Dean, a Music Together teacher and singer/musician in an Irish/Celtic/Folk band.



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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.