My philosophy of professional development is aligned with the New Jersey Professional Development Standards, as well as NAEYC’s Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP), the Pre-K Guidelines of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the Early Childhood Position Statement of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
I believe that music is not only one of life’s greatest joys; it’s also a uniquely effective way to help young children learn. My workshops are dedicated to helping teachers of young children use musical activities to support children’s cognitive, social and physical development. I am respectful of each person’s individual style and I encourage each teacher’s personal creativity. My goal is to provide teachers with opportunities to implement the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for music PreK-2 with fun and imaginative activities.
Description of qualifications and experience
I’ve taught my own early childhood music program for over twenty years. My books include the award-winning 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children, (Gryphon House, 2004) and the upcoming Exploring the Science of Sound: 100 Musical Activities for Young Children (Gryphon House, October, 2017). I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattanville College and an M.A. in Education from the University of Connecticut. I’ve given professional presentations for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAEYC), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA), the New Jersey Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators (CITE), and many other groups.
My Professional Development Workshops for early childhood professionals, music educators, and parent groups
I lead fun, interactive, hands-on workshops on all kinds of music activities for young children, using rhythm instruments, singing games, listening activities, creative-thinking activities, movement games, science explorations, recordings, books, puppets, and props. My workshops include:
Music and Movement for Young Children – This session presents an overview of the educational and developmental benefits of music activities for young children. Participants will learn many singing games, rhythm instrument activities, and a variety of activities using music and movement.
Fun and Learning With Rhythm Instruments – Easy, fun activities for young children using maracas, bells, rhythm sticks, drums, tambourines, and more.
Encouraging Children’s Creativity with Musical Activities – The importance of developing young children’s creativity with stimulating activities, nurturing feedback, and creating a classroom climate of respect for individual differences.
Exploring the Science of Sound – Participants learn activities to help young children explore pitch, tempo, timbre, texture, and loudness. Sounds and music are a natural and engaging way for young children to discover scientific concepts and processes. I share fun and easy activities using traditional instruments, nontraditional sound sources such as found and recycled materials, and voices.
Multicultural Music Activities for Young Children – In today’s increasingly diverse environment, music is a uniquely effective way to help children learn about other cultures. Children increase their understanding of others through active engagement with new musical ideas, including movement and playing instruments. This session includes music from many Spanish-speaking countries, Ghana, Kenya, China, Japan, India, Russia, Arabic-speaking countries, and the Caribbean.
Musical Story Time for Increasing Literacy Skills – How to enhance read-aloud stories with music, including singing and chanting, instruments and sound effects, and even background music. Music helps children focus on stories and increases comprehension and memory.
The Musical World of Toddlers and Twos – Toddlers and twos learn differently from older children. Participants learn effective, developmentally appropriate musical activities based on toddlers and twos’ needs, interests and abilities.
I’d also be happy to customize workshops to suit your group’s needs. Contact me at Connors419@aol.com. I’m located in central New Jersey.
Participants respond to my workshops with enthusiasm! I’ve received comments such as:
“The introductions to rhythm instruments are wonderful for my 3 and 4 year old preschool classes.”
“I found the activities to be varied, engaging, and age-appropriate.”
“Your workshop was filled with practical suggestions for lots of musical activities young children can master themselves. I find myself thinking of new ways to use the instruments throughout the day.”
“My kindergarten students love the activities – it was a practical and fun workshop!”