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Early Childhood Music Initiative

About the Early Childhood Music Initiative (ECMI)

The Early Childhood Music Initiative (ECMI) at Duquesne University strives to provide meaningful musical experiences for young children in underserved preschools throughout Pittsburgh. ECMI was designed in 2010 to inform and educate preschool directors, teachers, and early childhood caregivers about ways to incorporate music into the daily lives of children while also allowing future music teachers (undergraduate music education majors) to gain experience teaching music to children in real-world settings.

Under the direction of Dr. Rachel Whitcomb, Assistant Professor of Music Education, ECMI is underway for the 2012-2013 academic year through generous funding from The Pittsburgh Foundation.

During the first year of the project, ECMI served the early childhood education community in the Pittsburgh region by placing undergraduates in seven preschools to teach weekly music classes. More than 240 preschool children actively engaged in these activities, and 40 preschool teachers became familiar with developmentally appropriate musical activities each week. A Lesson Collection was written by experts in early childhood music and shared with over 125 preschool teachers, directors, and caregivers at the first ECMI Professional Development Conference in June 2011. Conference attendees were invited, free of charge, to attend educational sessions focusing on teaching techniques for incorporating music into preschool instruction.

Currently, ECMI is serving the following five preschools in the Pittsburgh region by providing weekly musical instruction:
• Angels' Place
• Beulah Christian Preschool and Child Care
• Hilltop Community Children's Center
• JLC Daycare
• Righteous Beginnings Learning Center

ECMI also offers a lending library of musical instruments and lesson materials for preschools interested in including music during daily instruction.