Planning Musical Experience in Early Childhood

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Participants will experience activities appropriate for young children focusing on musical engagement and the development of independent and collaborative musicianship skills. This session will present the planning, implementation, sequencing, and assessment of the activities including opportunities for children to experience and reinforce elements of music (melody, rhythm, timbre, form, dynamics) through areas of musical participation (singing, moving, playing, listening, creating, reading) and strategies for motivating children to fully participate in the musical experience.


Sylvia Munsen was appointed the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Endowed Chair for Elementary Arts Education at Utah State University in 2011. Currently, she is a Professor in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at USU and is the Artistic Director for the Cache Children’s Choir program. She received degrees from St. Olaf College, where she sang with the St. Olaf Choir, and the University of Illinois. In addition to studies in Dalcroze Eurhymics, she is a certified Kodály specialist, has a masters certificate in Orff-Schulwerk, and has served on the faculty of Orff and Kodály Certification programs.

Active as a clinician from regional to national and international venues, Munsen has conducted more than 50 festival and honor choirs including all-state choirs, a festival at Carnegie Hall, and festivals and master classes in Brazil and China. Munsen has taught music education from early childhood through graduate school and was the Director and teacher of early childhood programs in Arizona and Iowa. She is the author of “No Fine Art Left Behind: Creative and Expressive Education” in Handbook of Research-Based Practices in Early Education. She was awarded the prestigious Medal of St. Olav by His Majesty Harald V, King of Norway, for her work in education and music.

Learning Objectives

  1. Develop implementation and assessment techniques to reinforce elements of music.
  2. Develop strategies to help motivate children’s participation in musical activities.