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VIC: Foundations for Success: Music for Early Childhood and Diverse Abilities

16 November 2019 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm

An active day of music making with expert teachers and facilitators. Two streams will be offered:

Early Childhood Music:

Lisa Shepard B Mus Hons/ B Ed. Lisa is a primary school music educator who currently teaches Early Learning (3 and 4 year olds) at Trinity Grammar School. She is passionate about teaching children how to make valuable connections to music from a young age. She holds special interests in curriculum design, technology and has a wealth of experience in early years music education

General session overview: A playful, positive experience is key to ensuring young children want to pursue future music making. Through singing, instrumental exploration and games, children are given an appetite for music.
Young children explore music concepts through hands-on, interactive, child-centred, imaginative play. Learn how to develop young children’s musicality, self-expression and discover ways to help young children become confident movers and music makers!
Both sessions to provide early childhood educators and music teachers with the opportunity to delve into developmentally appropriate music making opportunities for 3- and 4-year olds.

  1. Develop young children’s musicality, self-expression and discover ways to help young children become confident movers and music makers!
  2. The development of the brain through improvising in the early years

Renee Heron: Renee is currently a kindergarten, primary music teacher and choral director at Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne, Australia. She is also the founder and artistic director of The Yarra Voices and has taught with the Australian Boys Choir as Teaching-in- Charge of the Probationer training group. Renee had the privilege of attending the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary in 2016-17 and is a methodology lecturer for the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia. Renee holds a Master of Teaching from the University of Melbourne and the Australian Kodály Certificate specialising in Early Childhood Music.

General session overview: This workshop will discuss what happens to our brain when we improvise and why it is of such importance for us to develop and nurture this skill in the early childhood and primary years as it will help to set children up for composition tasks as their musical skills progress. Participants will join in a number of practical activities, games, songs and rhymes that can be used to teach improvisation and composition, and will view videos and recordings of children, ages 5-10, performing these in a classroom setting. The workshop will also discuss different approaches we can take as Kodály music educators when developing sequences for improvisation and composition.

Diverse Abilities

Ebony Birch-Hanger and special guest: Ebony (B EC – Hons; M SpEd – Deaf/HH) is a Special Education Teacher, Neurodevelopmental Therapist, Teacher of the Deaf, Kodaly-trained Music Educator, Education Consultant & Public Speaker. She has over 10 years of experience supporting students with a variety of medical conditions and diagnoses, in therapy, school and home settings. She successfully uses Kodaly’s philosophy and methodology sequences with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, those with varying verbal skills, additional learning needs & auditory processing difficulties.

Session 1: Enhancing students’ language and communication skills through music – Ebony Birch-Hanger

This session will delve into how speech rhymes, songs and exploring vocal sounds can be used to enhance the skills of students with varied language development. We will look specifically at extending students’ vocabulary, developing language structure and building conversational skills and expression.

Session 1.5: Enhancing students’ participation and engagement in the music classroom – Presenter TBC

This session will look at ways to enhance student engagement by adjusting your interaction style and supporting peer relationships. You will also build on your skills in collaborating with your integration aides to ensure they are providing students with the most useful form of support within music learning activities.

Session 2: Supporting executive functioning and sensory processing needs to increase success in the music classroom – Presenter TBC

When students require additional support with planning, organising and sequencing it can affect their learning. This session will explain some challenges your students may have with executive functioning and how you can support their needs. We’ll also look briefly at sensory processing and some simple adjustments you can make within a music classroom to make it more sensory inclusive.

Session 3: Adjustments to instruction and assessments to increase accessibility and achievability for all students – Ebony Birch-Hanger 

This workshop will demonstrate simple adjustments you can make minimise the abstract qualities of an aural-based approach for students with diverse abilities. We will look at increasing students’ willingness and ability to demonstrate their learning during class; supporting your instruction with more visuals, varying your language and presenting assessments in varied ways.

Session 4: Rhythmic and melodic concepts taught through engaging movement activities (for all ages/abilities) – Ebony Birch-Hanger

Throughout this workshop, you’ll be actively involved in a variety of sequential movement and coordination activities. Each activity will demonstrate several steps you can use to teach specific rhythmic and melodic concepts, using well-known materials from Kodaly programs

Venue: Kilvington Grammar, Ormond

Registrations Now Open!


16 November 2019
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Kodály Victoria Office
9254 1035