helping children develop creative thinking


My Workshops


My philosophy of professional development is aligned with the New Jersey Professional Development Standards, as well as NAEYC's Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and the Pre-K Guidelines of the National Music Educator's Association (MENC)
I believe that music is not only one of life's greatest joys; it's also a uniquely effective way to help young children learn. My workshops are dedicated to helping teachers of young children use musical activities to support children's cognitive, social and physical development. I am respectful of each person's individual style and I encourage each teacher's personal creativity. My goal is to provide teachers with opportunities to implement the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for music PreK-2 with fun and imaginative activities.

Description of qualifications and experience
I've taught my own early childhood music program for over sixteen years. My award-winning book, 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children, was published in 2004 by Gryphon House. My new book is Teaching Creativity: Supporting, Valuing, and Inspiring Young Children's Creative Thinking.  I hold a Bachelor of Music degree from Manhattanville College and an M.A. in Education from the University of Connecticut. I've given professional presentations for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAEYC), the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA), the New Jersey Coalition of Infant/Toddler Educators (CITE), and many other groups.

My Professional Development Workshops for early childhood professionals, music educators, and parent groups

I lead fun, interactive, hands-on workshops on all kinds of music activities for young children, using rhythm instruments, singing games, listening activities, creative-thinking activities, movement games, recordings, books, puppets, and props. My workshops include:

 Fun and Learning With Rhythm Instruments  - Easy, fun activities for young children using maracas, bells, rhythm sticks, drums, tambourines, and more.

 Encouraging Children's Creativity with Musical Activities  - The importance of developing young children's creatvity with stimulating activities, nurturing feedback, and creating a classroom climate of respect for individual differences.

Musical Story Time for Increasing Literacy Skills  - How to enhance read-aloud stories with music, including singing and chanting, instruments and sound effects, and even background music. Music helps children focus on stories and increases comprehension.

 The Musical World of Toddlers and Twos  - Toddlers and twos learn diferently from older chidlren. Participants learn effective, developmentally appropriate musical  activities based on toddlers and twos' needs, interests and abilities.

 Exploring Sound  - Young children learn without preconceptions about "music," "sound" and "noise." Participants learn activities to help young children explore the many aspects of sound - pitch, tempo, timbre, texture, and dynamics - using traditional instruments, nontraditional sound sourcessuch as found and recycled materials, and voices.

 I'd also be happy to customize workshops to suit your group's needs. Contact me at Connors419@aol.com. I'm located in central New Jersey.

Requirements and costs for the full implementation of my professional development workshops.
The fee for each 1 1/2- hour workshop is $100.00. I require a microphone for very large groups. I bring my own instruments, recordings, cd player, and everything else!

Evidence of the impact of the program offerings on student learning resulting from the professional development provided.
Participants respond to my workshops with enthusiasm! I've received comments such as:

          "The introductions to rhythm instruments are wonderful for my 3 and 4 year old preschool classes."

          "Easy-to-use activities."

          "I found the activities to be varied, engaging, and age-appropriate."

          "Your workshop was filled with practical suggestions for lots of musical activities young children can master themselves. I find myself thinking of new ways to use the instruments    throughout the day."

          "My kindergarten students love the activities - it was a practical and fun workshop!"