With Deep Love, Gratitude, and Respect, Wendy DeAngelis
Music Together was founded in 1987 by Kenneth K. Guilmartin in Princeton, New Jersey. In the 1980s, Ken was a working theatre composer and music educator who was drawn to the field of early childhood music education while working as an associate editor for his uncle's music publishing business, Birch Tree Group. During this time, Ken observed that the music experiences of the children he knew and taught were usually limited to passive music listening; these children were growing up with little or no opportunity for live and playful music making. Subsequently, many sustained a delay in the development of their basic music skills, arriving at elementary school unable to sing in tune or move in a rhythmically accurate way.
Searching for a way to counteract this trend, Ken had the insight to apply what he learned from early childhood education experts to music education for the very young. In 1985, he founded the Center for Music and Young Children (CMYC) to conduct the early childhood music development research which later spawned the Music Together program. Interestingly, this research was funded by the Birch Tree Group using the royalties from the "Happy Birthday" song.
While attending a 1986 Edwin Gordon seminar on music learning in children, Ken met Lili Levinowitz, Ph.D., then director of the Children's Music Development Program at Temple University and an experienced researcher. Lili was a like-minded advocate for non-formal music experiences for the very young, and soon the two began to develop the unique, musically-rich curriculum that would become known as Music Together.
The first Music Together classes were offered to the public in 1987. Since then, Ken and Lili have researched and developed nine Music Together song collections, as well as special applications of the Music Together program such as infant, preschool, and Big Kids classes, and now Music Together Online. Both coauthors continue to be involved in what you experience in your Music Together classes, and they remain actively involved in training others to do this important and delightful work.
I first took the Music Together training with Dr. Lili Levinowitz in December of 2001, started teaching in April of 2002 for Beverly and Jessica, and opened Mommy, Music, and Me, inc., in Queens, NY, now Music Together with Music and me, in September of 2003. After 100 hrs of teaching Music Together I returned to study once again with Dr. Lili Levinowitz to receive my Certification I training in Music Together, and in August of 2006 was immersed in even deeper training of the Music Together Research, Philosophy, and Curriculum with Kenneth K. Guilmartin, Lili M. Levinowitz, Ph. D., and then Dir. of Music Education Lyn Ransom where I received Certification II. Our Registered Music Together teachers come from a variety of rich musical training and degrees, before attending their first Music Together training and then apprenticed with me through 2016, I continue to mentor all teachers and thank Nini Reid, Cert. I teacher for taking on the role of apprenticing our teachers since 2016. I have been blessed to learn originally from Lili, Ken, and Lyn, and continue to do so from all at Music Together Worldwide and my inspiring teachers that guide you and your family.
Music Together teachers now serve over 3500 communities in the United States and 41 other countries around the world. Through its parent-child, in-school, and outreach programs, both at home and abroad, Music Together is dedicated to offering the benefits and joys of music making to as many families as possible. For more information, visit: MusicTogether.com
Photo Credit: Globe with Teachers, Our Annual Free Flushing Meadows Park Concert- LindaNutter.com