Development of a music curriculum for an early childhood non-music major college level course



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Texas Tech University


Instructors of music courses for undergraduate early childhood education majors face many challenges when designing a one-semester music curriculum. Few music textbooks specific to early childhood are available. Many more music texts geared for elementary majors are available but include little information of early childhood years (birth - 8 years old). In addition, these elementary music texts often place a major emphasis on the fundamentals of music. Studies show this focus may not be the most productive in developing generalists who will provide quality musical experiences in their classrooms. Students would benefit greatly from a sequential, experiential, and applicable music curriculum that includes song materials, age appropriate activities, pertinent readings, valuable resources, and experiences interacting musically with children.

The purpose of this study was to develop a music curriculum designed for undergraduate early childhood majors in the study of early childhood music. The curriculum was based on studies of the practical music skills and understandings of classroom teachers, studies of musical self-perceptions of non-music majors, studies of sequence, the MENC position statement on early childhood music (MENC, 1993), and a review of available texts.

The prescribed sequential curriculum provides a weekly format of in-class topics and activities, as well as homework assignments. Although the curriculum described in this paper is specific to a particular one-semester, three-credit-hour, early childhood major music course, the ideas and activities could be adapted to meet the needs of another course.