Saturday, 16 August 2014

ECME August 2014

Looking back at ECME 2014 and looking forward to 2016.

It was wonderful to meet you all in Brazil and hear of the fascinating work!

During the ECME 2014 Seminar, hosted by the Universidade de Brasilia, were presented 13 papers, with 20 authors and co-authors; 4 workshops, with 9 presenters and co-presenters and 9 posters with 12 poster presenters. 53 participants from 5 continents shared knowledge, songs and dances and it felt like one big family!

Each day had its own theme: July 15: Musical beginnings at Home, in Schools and in Communities. July 16: Collaborative Constructive models for musical beginnings. July 17: The Role of Technology and Media in Children's musical beginnings. July 18: Guiding Children's Musical Beginnings: Pedagogies of the world.  July 19: Coda and Conclusions.


I wish to express my gratitude to the Keynote speaker: Kathryn Marsh and the Invited speaker: Beatriz Ilari.

As chair I also wish to say thank you to the commission members:

Joanne Rutkowski (United States of America, 2008-2014) Amanda Niland (Australia, 2010-2016) Elizabeth Andang'o (Kenya, 2010-2016) Patricia St John (United States of America, 2012-2018) Chee Hoo Lum (Singapore, 2012-2018). This was real teamwork!


And then the plans for the future:

The ECME Commission is developing a plan to increase its online presence through a blog and Facebook page so that the collaborations and musical sharing, involving both practice and research, which began at the 2012 seminar in Corfu can continue and expand.

Therefore I am glad to introduce the new chair for the biennium 2014-2016: Amanda Niland. Amanda is a lecturer in Early Childhood at the Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, in Sydney, Australia, where she lectures in music and creative arts, children's literature and inclusive education. Amanda also works with children who have disabilities and their families in music groups. Her research interests encompass early childhood music and early intervention.


And 'last but not least' the two new ECME commissioners:

Dr. Suzanne L. Burton (USA) and Dr. Jose Retra. (The Netherlands)


Suzanne Burton is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences. Suzanne has given research papers for ISME ECME focusing on the comfort of early childhood teachers to use music in their classrooms (Barcelona and Tenerife, Spain), the development of rhythmic music literacy (Beijing, China), and young children's iPad app preferences (Brasilia, Brazil). She is Professor of Music Education, Director of Graduate Studies, and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Delaware. Burton specializes in musical development, music literacy pedagogy, music teacher education in authentic and global contexts, and community engagement.


José Retra was poster presenter during the ECME seminar in Frascati 2008: 'Music is movement' and a workshop co-presenter in ISME conference 2012 Thessaloniki: 'A Song – what's next?'. She was participant of the 2012 ECME seminar in Corfu. A presenter and co-author at the ECME 2014 seminar in Brasilia: 'Bringing Live Music to Young Children" as well as poster co-presenter: 'About music" ECME 2014 Brasilia and ISME 2014 Porte Alegre. José received her PhD in early childhood music education from the University of Exeter, M.A. in Psychology for musicians (2000) composing (1997) and piano (1986).

She founded the Preschool Music Education Centre based in Amsterdam in 2010. The centre provides parent-child classes, workshops and lectures, as well as classes in day care centres. She created a research group specifically for early childhood music education with researchers from different countries in Europe. As a composer/arranger she creates music for young children and, together with a colleague, is establishing concerts especially for young children 0-4.

Thanks to all the commission members for their time, energy and friendship. As host for the ECME seminar in 2016 in The Netherlands and ISME board liaison for ECME in the period 2014-2016 I will continue to be involved in this wonderful ECME family.



Margré van Gestel (The Netherlands, 2008-2014)

Commission Chair: 2010-2012, 2012-2014


Let's make the world a better place for all children through music.