By Ricardo Dourado Freire
University of Brasilia, Brazil
I was not supposed to be an early childhood teacher. I came to Michigan State University in 1997 to finish my DMA in Clarinet Performance and my goals were to finish my research about the history of the clarinet in Brazil and to play all four required recitals. But there was an unexpected change of direction when my two young sons were enrolled in early childhood music classes at MSU Community Music School with Dr. Cynthia Taggart. I first experienced Music Learning Theory as a parent, and that perspective never left me.
MSU has offered GIML certificates in General Music, Instrumental Music and Early Childhood since the mid 1990s. Cindy Taggart observed my participation as a parent and wisely invited me to take part in the summer program of 1998. That year, Dr. Gordon would be teaching in…