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To share and to promote current ideas in early childhood music education that are based on research and best pedagogical practices and assure every child's right to musical development, thereby enhancing the quality of children's lives.


To promote music in the lives of all young children, our mission is to:

  • provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas regarding the various ways in which children may participate in their own musical culture;
  • improve the quality of research and pedagogy in the field of music education world wide;
  • stimulate thought and effective practices in recognition of every child's right to music education; and
  • examine the effect of music on children in changing societies.

General Information

The Early Childhood Commission of the International Society for Music Education was founded in 1982.

The intent of this Commission is to further the quality of research and scholarship in the field of early childhood music education and, through that, to stimulate thought and the practice of early childhood music throughout the world. Our biennial meeting provides the setting in which we seek to bring together music educators from around the world to learn about and to share current ideas regarding research and pedagogical practices in early childhood music education. The Commission offers a cultural framework through which ideas are shared. We seek to learn from each other as we develop and integrate theoretical foundations, children's responsiveness  to musical experience, and contextually relevant practices across the globe.

Goals of the ISME Early Childhood Commission are to:

  1. promote music in the lives of young children, regardless of talent, to create an enhanced environment that will result in the well-being and development of the whole child;
  2. provide an international forum for the exchange of ideas regarding music and the young child, birth to age eight (and even pre-birth, as more scientific knowledge becomes available in this area);
  3. stimulate the growth of quality music instruction, teacher training and research in musical development and instruction with the young child;
  4. learn ways that various cultures approach musical enculturation in the young child (i.e. natural absorption of the practices and values of a culture); compare and discuss similarities and differences in music instruction and music learning across cultures; and to
  5. examine issues which are of importance to the future of music in the lives of young children such as the influence of mass media and technology; the rapid change of society; the role of the family in musical development; the role of culture and schooling in musical development; and preservation of cultural traditions in the light of the breakdown of cultural barriers.

To accomplish these goals the Commission will:

  1. hold biennial conferences or seminars in conjunction with ISME world conferences in a venue geographically near the site of the conference;
  2. contribute to the ISME electronic newsletter regarding early childhood music education; solicit and publish articles in other ISME publications;
  3. endorse extra occasional courses which would focus in greater depth on promoting the general practices and principles of the commission. Endorsement of any proposed course, seminar, or conference will require a unanimous vote of approval from all six Commission Members currently serving, and would involve no financial support;
  4. present early childhood sessions at ISME world conferences; and
  5. work to reach early childhood music educators throughout the world - to maintain regular contact through the ISME electronic newsletter, the Commission Web Site, and biennial conferences and seminars.
Coming up
Metropolia University in Helsinki, venue for the ISME Early Childhood Music Educaitoan Commission's pre conference seminar 2020
27.07.2020 | Events
Pre conference seminar 2020: Early Childhood Music Education
The pre conference seminar 2020 hosted by the ISME Early Childhood Music Education Commission.
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Related people
Dr. Michel Hogenes
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United States
Dr. Suzanne Burton
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Argentina, Israel
Dr. Claudia Gluschankof
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Dr. Jessica Pérez-Moreno
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Finland, Finland
Dr. Laura Huhtinen-Hilden
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United States
Dr. Lauren Kooistra
Dr. Lauren Kooistra is currently Assistant Research Professor of Humanities and the Associate Director of the Humanities Institute of Penn State University in Pennsylvania, USA...
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Related publications
08.11.2017 | Publications
ECME Proceedings 2014
Proceedings of the 16th International Seminar of the ISME Commission on Early Childhood Music Education.
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03.08.2017 | Publications
ECME Proceedings 2016
Proceedings of the 17th International Seminar of the ISME Commission on Early Childhood Music Education.
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08.11.2012 | Publications
ECME Proceedings 2012
Proceedings of the 16th International Seminar of the ISME Commission on Early Childhood Music Education.
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