Dear ECMMA Friends,
For many of us, fall is a time of beginnings and new vision. Our 2016-2018 ECMMA board is eager and ready to jump into directing and implementing our mission of supporting early childhood practitioners in making authentic and appropriate music and music experiences accessible to all young children. By the time you read this, we will already have many projects and initiatives in the works focused on our four pillars of research, advocacy, professional development, and collaboration.
I have to agree with Past-President, Jennie Mulqueen, that this year’s Move Along, Catch a Song Convention was one of the best I’ve attended. I was struck by the astounding amount of collective expertise and knowledge represented by our members and presenters and the untiring dedication of these individuals. Also noteworthy was the respect that members, presenters, and attendees had for each other, whether researcher, academic, music therapist, studio or classroom teacher, etc. All were seen as valuable participators and contributors in our most important work with children and families – a true community.
This is significant because that was the word I kept hearing throughout the convention. The idea that what we do can contribute to social-emotional readiness, self-awareness, human interaction, empathy, and ultimately to bettering society as a whole, kept coming back throughout many sessions. This theme continued as I read the summer Perspectives. The focus on the power and significance of musical play speaks to the idea that when we utilize best practices in early childhood music and movement, children and adults act together as co-learners, co-teachers, co-researchers in community.
In a podcast for the show On Being, the late poet and philosopher, John O’Donohue talked of the importance of “creating a space where children can unfold and be accompanied on their journey.” Also, in his book Beauty, O’Donohue says, “True community is not produced; it’s invoked and awakened. True community is an ideal where the full identities of awakened and realized individuals challenge and complement each other.” It is encouraging and inspiring to realize that what we do creates these spaces for children, and assists them in realizing themselves and then enriching others.
I am honored and humbled to be starting my tenure as president of this unique community. May your fall be filled with dancing, music making, joy, and awakening.
Keep singing and playing,
Diana Greene, President ECMMA