Saving kitties and hunting for gold: Storytelling through music and movement in early childhood

Dr. Elisabeth Etopio, Ms. Casey Bellafaire
Movement Track
You must be a registered Virtual Convention 2016 user to view this video. If you are a registered user, log in to view the Virtual Convention Video, contact us to order Virtual Convention 2016.

Explore elements of storytelling in this session as we become fearless pirates, awesome dinosaurs, neighborhood superheroes, and more! Participants will engage in music and movement experiences designed to capture young children's imagination, cultivate creativity, and build essential listening and speaking vocabularies foundational to music learning. Strategies and skills for implementing a variety of music and movement stories will be shared.


Dr. Elisabeth Etopio, a former public school music teacher, holds a doctorate from the University at Buffalo where she majored in elementary education with emphases in early childhood education and arts education.  In 2005, the University Graduate School recognized her with an award for teaching with an excellence in teaching award. Dr. Etopio is highly sought after as a presenter on children’s music and creative movement responses at State and National Conferences. She has more than 15 years of experience teaching MusicPlay classes for young children, and holds certification in Early Childhood Music Levels 1 & 2 from the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.

Dr. Etopio’s research interests include the professional development of early childhood teachers, the music learning of young children, and the relationship between children’s music learning and social, emotional, and cognitive development. Her most recent publication, entitled “The effects of music instructions on preschoolers’ music achievement and emergent literacy achievement,” appeared in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education.  In that study, Etopio and a team of researchers found that the musicianship of the early childhood teachers improved along with their pedagogical practice causing positive results on students’ music and emergent literacy achievement.  

Casey Bellafaire, currently works as a Graduate Assistant for the University at Buffalo in the music education program.   She is also studying to obtain her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning with a concentration in Music Education.  She is certified in Elementary General Music Level One through the Gordon Institute for Music Learning.

Casey's experience lies in the realm of early childhood. While she has held Lead Teacher positions in toddler classrooms, her specialty is as an early childhood music educator. Her Saturday mornings are filled with the joy of teaching music through play to little ones!