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  • Apr 13, 2010
  • Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard

MacPhail Center for Music and the early childhood music faculty were chosen as the “musical” experts on this collaborative endeavor by MELSA.  MacPhail Center for Music has national recognition as a leader in music education and early childhood music education. The early childhood music program is research-based, developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, inclusive, and one of highest quality and innovation. Our faculty members have education and experience in music education, early childhood music education, special education, music therapy, theater, composition, performance, and child development and family studies. For more information about MacPhail Center for Music, please contact our website at: 

As both early childhood educators and specialists in the field of early childhood music, MacPhail Center for Music early childhood faculty members Dianna Babcock and Cheryl Henningsgaard are delighted to begin a collaboration that will enrich the lives of many Minnesota children, which begins with our collaborative efforts connecting music with literature through our “Musical Storytelling” blog.  Each week, specific topics concerning early childhood education topics related to literacy through music will be addressed. Each blog will also feature a specific teaching tip for you! There will also be a featured “interactive” answer and question section, a time for you to share your expertise and insights.  

MacPhail Center for Music early childhood music faculty members Dianna Babcock and Cheryl Henningsgaard have graduate level education and experience in early childhood education, music therapy, child development, parent and family education, special education, curriculum development and years and years of teaching through music and about music!   Dianna and Cheryl wish to share their expertise, passion, and commitment to children and literacy through this unique methodology. They believe in the power of music as a teaching tool and as a way for books to “come to life” for young children-bringing literacy rich experiences and developing a love of reading-to Minnesota children! It all begins with you…our wonderful Minnesota libraries and librarians! 

“Music is so natural for children; the new literature on emergent literacy treats reading and music the same way—a natural extension of children’s language and experience for young children “(Harp, 1988). Barclay and Coffman (1990) advised singing songs across the early childhood curriculum to enhance literacy. Best practices for educators of children from birth to five include using music as a connector for literacy (2005). 

This is a collaborative endeavor. To best meet your needs, we would like to utilize this initial blog as a time to find out more about your unique library and learning community. Your community needs can be addressed, with your blog participation, by answering the below listed questions, or adding your own. The blog is intended to be interactive, and “connect” libraries across Minnesota. 

Let’s get started! 
Please answer the below listed questions:
  1. What would you like to learn more about the connection between music and literacy?
  2. Where would Musical Storytelling fit into your library story time?
  3. If you are using music in your storytelling, what has been successful for you?
  4. What resources do you need to implement Musical Storytelling?
  5. What challenges do you face adding Musical Storytelling to your library?
  6. Do you have favorite children’s literature that you wish to enhance through music?
  7. Please share additional thoughts…anecdotes…and your wishes for Musical Storytelling!

We look forward to our collaborations and remember there’s more… 

The next blog will delve into why music helps young children learn, and the connections it makes with literacy….. 

Meet Dianna and Cheryl at the first MELSA Musical Storytelling Presentation-April 27th, at the Maplewood Library!   Click here for more information. 

This collaboration is funded in part with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008 which dedicated funding to preserve Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage.


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