From the Director
Dear ECEM Families and Friends,
It’s hard to believe this this is the last newsletter of the year. Although, when we see how your children have flourished, it’s hard to believe it has only been one year, and for some of you, one semester. From the little ones who only spoke a few words and are now singing entire songs to the older ones who quietly sat and observed and now confidently sing while they keep the beat on the xylophone, all the ECEM teachers have immensely enjoyed being part of their journey.
Many of you are wondering what the next step for the fall is for your children. In this newsletter, you’ll find a summary of the different options available for the fall. Our first recommendation is to continue with the ECEM program, as it is cumulative. With each class children further develop those fundamental musical concepts necessary for future music study. There are some options within the ECEM Program and many more as your children reach age 6 and might be ready for private lessons. If you have any questions you can always ask your child’s teacher, as they know him/her best.
If you have friends that have never experienced the ECEM program and would like to try a few classes before they commit to the entire semester, please let them know we will be offering a three-week Fall Sampler before the semester begins on September 18th. Check the website or call the office for details regarding the dates and times of these.
We are excited to announce that in the fall we are not only lengthening our semester to fifteen weeks but are also lowering the tuition to $375 for the semester.
Thank you again making Levine a part of your child’s musical upbringing. We look forward to seeing you in September!Sincerely,
Dr. Gabriela Cohen
Director, Early Childhood and Elementary Music
As the year is coming to an end many of you are already looking ahead to the fall and wondering in which ECEM class to enroll your child. Our curriculum is cumulative, so our first suggestion is to enroll in the next class that is appropriate for your child’s age.
If your child will be 6 years old by the start of the school year, there are several options available. Musical Journey is for children ages 6-7. This class explores the music and languages of many different countries and cultures. Each class includes songs, folk tales, musical games and dances from a variety of world cultures. Musical Journey is an excellent preparation or complement to private lessons, deepening children’s understanding of musical concepts as well as enriching their knowledge of world cultures. Musical Journey is a specialty class in our “World of Music” series, and will only be offered on Tuesdays in our Northwest Campus.
We also offer a class, Building Musical Bridges, for children ages 6-8. This class "bridges" our Elementary Music classes with private instrument study, offering older children more structured learning of complex musical ideas, note-reading and basic theory. The class benefits students who aren’t quite ready for one-on-one private instruction as well as students who have recently begun private instrument study. Students will develop and perform in multiple disciplines including singing, playing Orff instruments, basic percussion, and movement/dance. This course also focuses on student composition and performance. We will offer this class in Virginia, Maryland and Northwest.
For those of you who are interested in a series of classes that is still based on our philosophy but incorporates more movement, we have the Music Moves series. These classes meet on Thursdays in our Northwest Campus.
This year we offered Cantemos y Bailemos in Northwest, and it has been so successful that we are expanding to Maryland next year! It’s a terrific way to either reinforce Spanish spoken at home or school, or be introduced to it.
Family participation is an essential part of the Suzuki method. Prior knowledge of music is not needed, but parents must be willing to be very involved in the learning process. Families new to the Suzuki method are required to attend Introduction to the Suzuki Philosophy for Parents before or during the ﬁrst semester of their child’s study. One parent must attend every lesson, be responsible for daily coaching and ensure that the student listens to recordings of Suzuki repertoire daily.
Music and Fun: Summer at Levine
Join us for fun this summer as we take a trip around the world and visit a different continent each week!
We will visit North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Our group classes inspire creative learning as students enjoy singing, moving, and playing instruments Classes will be at the NW Upton Campus and SE Campus (THEARC) .
Music Time for Babies and Toddlers (ages 4-24 months with parent/caregiver) 9:15-10:00am
Round We Go (ages 2-3 years with parent/caregiver) 10:00-10:45am
Adventures in Music (ages 3-4 years without parent/caregiver) 11:45-12:30pm
Exploring Music (ages 4-5 years without parent/caregiver) 12:30-1:15pm
Discovering Music (ages 5-6 years without parent/caregiver) 10:45-11:30am
How long have you been teaching at Levine?
I’ve been teaching at Levine for over 30 years! Joanne Hoover took me on to teach in the Levine ECM program with Vera Owens and Jean Butler. Jean was my piano teacher at the time and probably suggested that I join the program.
How did you get involved in early childhood music?
I was always interested in how we learn music—sight reading, playing instruments, writing songs, listening, memorizing and remembering melodies and lyrics. This was probably because many of those aspects were not easy for me. I began teaching music at the Hill School in Middleburg, grades K-8, and attended a summer course of Orff Schulwerk in Salzburg, Austria to learn more about an approach to music that appealed to me greatly. Later on, married with children of my own, I fulfilled my co-oping responsibilities at their preschool by teaching music classes once a week. My children graduated but I stayed on a few more years!
What do you most enjoy about teaching Early Childhood Music?
I love looking for songs to share from my now vast repertoire from years of Levine Summer Camps, and the years of teaching with John Bijarney, a fine folksinger and guitarist at the Lowell School, as well as great material from Orff workshops along the way. It’s fun to find engaging ways to present songs, and to relate them to what the children have learned in previous classes. Most of all there’s the excitement when a song really clicks with the class!
What are some of your favorite activities outside of teaching?
I’ve studied ballet most of my life and continue to enjoy classes each week. Kayaking on the Potomac is another joy, and gardening fills any remaining idle hours!
What are your favorite children’s books that you use for teaching?
“Tikki Tikki Tembo” by Arlene Mosel. I like the story of the irresistible lure for the children of playing by the well, something they REALLY shouldn’t do, and the Old Man (with the Ladder) who is the hero who saves the day and the mother who never says “I told you so.”
“The Color Kittens” by Margaret Wise Brown. The little poems woven into the story are lovely, and the idea of mixing 2 colors to get a third is fun to explore in sound colors too.
“Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain” by Verna Aardema is a cumulative story that has great possibilities throughout for small percussion.
What are three of your favorite CD’s to listen to for pleasure?
Dave Digs Disney: Dave Brubeck (actually on vinyl)
Alex Tharaud Plays Scarlatti
Songs of the Auvergne with Frederica von Stade
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?