In this issue of Perspectives, we feature articles from two distinguished researcher-educators, Dr. Joanne Rutkowski and Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi, who generously share their expertise and insights on topics relevant to early childhood music and movement education. In addition, we welcome special contributions by Dr. Judith Sullivan, Julie Goodro, and Susan McGuire – all of which I hope you will find interesting and useful.
Dr. Joanne Rutkowski is well known for her research exploring the development of children’s singing abilities. In her article, “Kindergarten Children's Use of Singing Voice Achievement and Developmental Music Aptitude in the Context of Informal Music Instruction,” Dr. Rutkowski discusses her work involving a group of young children engaged in several months of informal music activities that included singing, moving, and chanting. Using the Singing Voice Development Measure to evaluate the children’s progress, she shares valuable insights regarding how early childhood educators can nurture young children’s singing voices.
Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi’s article, “Perceiving Differences and Similarities in Music: Melodic Categorization During the First Years of Life,” offers an in-depth look at studies showing developmental differences in infants’ ability to categorize words and melodies. Dr. Costa-Giomi discusses the importance of this research in teaching music to infants and young children and emphasizes the need for early childhood educators to set developmentally appropriate objectives. In addition, she provides suggestions regarding the practical application of research to music instruction for young children.
Dr. Judith Sullivan reviews a study by Winsler, Ducenne, and Koury titled “Singing One’s Way to Self-Regulation: The Role of Early Music and Movement Curricula and Private Speech” (2011). The researchers dealt with the question of whether or not a connection exists between children’s participation in structured preschool music classes and their development of self-regulatory skills.
In the first installment of a three-part column for Notable Notes, Julie Goodro shares her experiences and lessons learned as a music specialist for a fine arts preschool situated in a dance studio. From her perspective, Goodro highlights the mutual goals and desires of dance and music educators who work with young children.
Susan McGuire offers a review of Catherine Rosasco Mitchell’s book, “A New SENSORY Self-Awareness: Tools to Experience the Body-to-Brain Communication, Part 1.” Featuring a series of lessons and activities inspired by the Feldenkrais philosophy, Mitchell explores ways that teachers and parents can help children deal with social and academic challenges through self-awareness.
Angela Barker, PhD