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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Diller-Quaile School of Music, Inc. (The) | Evaluated Learning Experience

Early Childhood Music (501)

30 hours (15 weeks); in addition, at least 30 hours of direct field experience.
The Diller-Quaile School of Music, 24 East 95th Street, New York, NY.

January 1998 - March 2022.

Instructional delivery format: 
Traditional classroom model
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: experience music within a group context through listening, singing, moving, playing small percussion instruments and reading and notating music; develop an increased awareness and appreciation of the musical characteristics and abilities of children from infancy to age six and begin to apply this knowledge to classroom practice; develop an increased awareness and knowledge of the value of music in the integrated curriculum and in multicultural and anti-biased education; develop an increased awareness and knowledge of appropriate music experiences for children with special needs; construct criteria for selecting developmentally appropriate, meaningful song repertoire; explore musical instruments appropriate for improvising and accompanying songs in the early childhood classroom; explore the use of classroom props to enhance music making experiences; develop the ability to play for natural movement using a hand drum; improvise on the recorder: develop the ability to play simple songs on the recorder; internalize and perform repertoire introduced over the course of the semester; develop substantive music lesson plans and integrate this work into the life of the early childhood classroom; discuss and analyze the characteristics of plans which are meaningful, musical, and memorable; develop and utilize tools to assess children's emerging music skills, abilities, behaviors, and attitudes; develop new skills, abilities, and insights from the mentoring sessions included in graduate level course requirements; transfer to classroom practice; build confidence as a music educator; develop a comprehensive understanding of the importance of music in the early childhood classroom; and formulate a personal philosophy of the value and benefits of early childhood music education.


Course participants are early childhood/day care center personnel. This course prepares participants to lead early childhood music experiences in day care centers, Head Start programs or other early childhood educational settings. Through course readings, discussions, and active participation in group music making experiences, students gain an understanding of the musical development of children from infancy through age six, while developing their own innate musicality. Over the course of the semester, students increase their knowledge, skills, and abilities to implement and assess developmentally appropriate, engaging, and meaningful music experiences in their early childhood program. Topics include: engaging in music experiences: singing, moving, playing small percussion instruments to accompany songs and improvise; playing beginner selections on the recorder; child development and the musical development of children-infants through age six; developing criteria for selecting folk music repertoire and finger plays; music in the integrated curriculum; musical experiences for the special needs child; instruments and appropriate props for the early childhood music experiences; curriculum planning: creating developmentally appropriate, engaging, and meaningful music lesson plans; developing long range program goals; preparing classroom space to facilitate effective early childhood music experiences; teacher as facilitator: learning to lead developmentally appropriate, engaging, and meaningful early childhood music experiences; assessment: assessing student responses to early childhood classroom music experiences; music literacy: developing the ability to read standard notation and invent graphic/symbolic representations; exploring emerging literacy and the invented musical notations of young children; staff development, mission statements;and building community through music. Course participants meet several times during the semester in individual or small group mentoring sessions with the instructor, during which the readings are discussed and course goals are reviewed. Each course participant develops a portfolio which holds all assignments and a reflection on each assignment. Course participants are observed in the classroom by the Director of their agency to assess the integration of music within the classroom, improve their teaching effectiveness, and provide opportunities for agency participation. Course participants observe three Diller-Quaile early childhood classes and write reflections based on the theory and practice contained in the course literature. They also conduct a workshop on staff development for their day care colleagues, demonstrating the use of music/movement in the early childhood classroom. At the conclusion of this assignment, they write a short paper synthesizing the experience with the course literature. A thematic unit which integrates and incorporates diverse music/movement experiences, art, and children's literature is developed over the semester. The unit may include long range curriculum plans, daily lesson plans, journaling, documentation of children's work, including photos, recordings, art, homemade instruments, etc. The thematic unit concludes with a short reflective paper summarizing the experience and integrating the course literature. Using the sample assessment form presented in class, course participants assess the developing musicality of one child over a period of time. A final self-evaluation reflects on the course participant's professional growth during the semester.

Credit recommendation: 

In the graduate degree category, 2 semester hours in Early Childhood Education, 1 semester hour can be applied as practicum credit or as an elective in any degree program (7/98) (9/03 revalidation) (6/06 revalidation) (6/11 revalidation) (6/16 revalidation). NOTE: Credit is recommended for the successful completion of this course and Early Childhood Level I and/or II, Versions 1 or 2. While the courses are offered as parallel components, the experiences are not duplicative.