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Commissioner, Early Childhood Music Education Commission
Dr Jose Retra is a preschool music specialist and a composer. She presently teaches children 4 months to 4 years at the Art centre “Het Klooster” in Woerden. She regularly gives workshops and lectures on different subjects in preschool music education for people from all kinds of backgrounds who work with young children. In her research and pedagogical inquiry she concentrates on movement and temporal aspects, music educational and compositional aspects of composition for children 0 - 4,  and pedagogy/philosophy of preschool music education. She received her PhD in Education, specialising in Early Childhood Music Education from the University of Exeter (UK) in 2010. She holds an MA in Psychology for Musicians from the University of Sheffield (UK), a Bachelor in general pedagogy (Nijmegen, NL) and a B.Mus. in piano from the conservatory of Arnhem (NL). She studied composition with Andries van Rossem. José has presented her research at many international conferences (e.g. ISME, RIME, MERYC, ICMPC). In order to engage in joint inquiry connected to practice resulting in workable outcomes for practice, using dialogue as the main mode of inquiry she has formed a discussion group with early childhood music specialists. Together with a colleague she has established a preschool music education centre in the centre of Amsterdam. As a composer she has written concert music and music for film and tv. She is also active as a composer/arranger of music specially for the under-fours. Her music is frequently used in concerts specially for young children and has been recorded for music educational purposes.