Want to Learn to Play Music? Start By Playing WITH Music!

Dr Andrew Knight
Pedagogy Track
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This session explores how children learn music through play, including the benefits and characteristics of music play. Before children can play (i.e. perform) music, they must first play with music. In this session, participants will discover the ways in which exposing children to developmentally appropriate, non performance-oriented music activities supports a child's innate tendency to play. They will learn ways to create a child-centered, playful music environment that encourages and values children's own ways of making music, allows each child to take ownership of his music learning, and affords teachers an opportunity to maximize the learning benefits of play.


Andrew Knight is assistant professor of music therapy at Colorado State University, a board-certified music therapist since 2005, a Music Together teacher since 2006, and a Music Together Within Therapy® license holder. Dr. Knight holds a bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance, Jazz emphasis from UW-La Crosse, a music therapy equivalency and master's degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Research from the University of North Dakota. Prior to his appointment at CSU, Dr. Knight taught at UND, where he supervised students at clinical placements in the Grand Forks community, taught undergraduate coursework, advised the student music therapy association, and conducted research. Dr. Knight has presented on early childhood music therapy and music education at numerous national conferences including the American Music Therapy Association, Canadian Association for Music Therapy, and the Association for the Education of Young Children. He has been an active clinician in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, with various music therapy clinical roles at agencies serving adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His current research pursuits include clinical applications of music therapy for toddlers with language impairments, adults with addiction issues, music therapy percussion pedagogy, and technology use in clinical settings.