This classic best-selling publication has presented for the first time to the Greek and Cypriot society and music education system a small part of the Cypriot traditional songs for children implementing at the same time appropriate music teaching methodologies. The publication is widely used by school teachers in kindergarten, preprimary and primary school, children and families. In the box, there is a series of illustrated Songbooks, a compact disc with two recorded versions of eight songs in traditional and contemporary orchestration and a book with notations, explanations and music education strategies for each song.
The publication has been accredited as a music education manual and included by the Ministry of Cyprus in the public educational system of the Republic of Cyprus. The publication led to the revival of Cypriot traditional music for children since most of the Cypriot traditional songs for children were lost in the centuries and instead were replaced by imported songs.
The melodies and lyrics of most of the songs derive from the folkloric research of the Cypriot folk musician Michalis Hadjimichael in the area of Kokkinochória in the east coast of the island. Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella took the responsibility of designing the publication, devising the teaching methodologies, forming the children’s choir and teaching the songs and undertaking the creation and completed production of the publication.
Important musicians and artists cooperated alongside such as the composer Costas Cacogiannis who orchestrated the songs, the state awarded illustrator Louisa Kaimaki who created the songbooks’ illustrations, the traditional singer Kyriakou Pelayia, the famous Greek singer–Ambassador of UNESCO George Dalaras. In addition, 24 aged 8-12 children from the different villages of the Kokkinochória area took part in the choir.
The production of the publication was possible with the generous support of local bodies in Kokkinochória. The prime sponsor was the Municipality of Paralimni along with several private local enterprises. Media sponsors were the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation and the newspaper Politis. The publication was featured in the Main News broadcast by CyBC and in Cultural broadcasts in radio and television by CyBC, Sigma and other Cypriot channels.
For more information and purchase of the publication, please contact the CCRSM administrator Nicos Skoutellas on the number +357996283778.
MusiChild™ aims in bringing positive change for early childhood music education in schools and at home, in various settings and contexts across Euro-Mediterranean region and EU countries. Our purpose is in alignment with the ECEC Council Recommendation and the European Pillar of Social Rights 11th principle, that all children have the right to affordable early childhood education and care of good quality and with the 5 Human Rights for Music of the International Music Council (3 rights are specific for children). Each child has the right to:
express themselves musically in all freedom;
learn musical languages & skills;
have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation and information.
High-quality early childhood music education is a most powerful way to promote continued success in school and all aspects of human life during these turbulent, uncertain times. During these early years, children have the opportunity to cultivate intercultural musical growth, cultural and social poly-musical capacities, psychokinetic, emotional, mental and imaginative development. These first years of life are crucial for cultivating musical aptitude, empathy and solidarity, imagination, psychological stability, creative and critical thinking, openness, collaboration, resilience and awareness of European musical diversity in unity, connecting with something greater than oneself.
This priority constitutes the force that offers us direction, reflects our values and glues us together for transnational and cross-sectorial collaborations and synergies for an equal, inclusive music learning and participation for all children, for filling the urgent need against musical and cultural poverty, maximising musical aptitude and establishing European shared identity through and in young children’s music learning.
We envision for European, centred-learner and musical agency-grounded early childhood music education systems that cultivate young children’s intercultural musical growth, and enhance the development of cultural and social poly-musical capacities, creativity, empathy and solidarity.
Cultural heritage is increasingly seen as an essential driver of sustainable development and social quality. Thus, MusiChild™ does not solely commit to the preservation of musical cultural heritage per se but relate to the notion of cultural expressions as holistically embodied in human life. Therefore, cultural heritage seems to be an excellent place to start, to engage both the social and educational value of music and to fight educational, creative and cultural poverty.
Academic research has revealed children’s exceptional intercultural musical competencies for participation in musical, artistic heritage and traditional cultures. Each child is entitled to learn and use the musical mother-tongue and their regional heritage’s socio-musical practices. Cultural heritage informs our civilisations eternal human values, the underlying belief systems, values, beliefs and epistemologies that shape human personal and international relations and human interaction with the environment. We develop publications and services that bridge the gap between history and presence, research and practice, and address cultural differences, educational difficulties, and economic, geographical and social obstacles.
The Cyprus National Agency for European Programmes:
invited the project and the publication ‘Mediterranean Musical Cradle’ to represent Cyprus the European Erasmus+ Conference «Paths towards European Citizenship through Cultural Heritage», September 2018, Palermo, Italy.
Selected the project as best practice project for the school sector to represent Cyprus at the 30Years Erasmus Programme Celebrations May 2017, Bonn, Germany.
The first phase of MusiChild™ Publication Series stems out from the C.C.R.S.M.’s distinguished music education research Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project ‘Early Childhood Music Education in the Mediterranean; raising children’s musicality, evaluating music learning and enabling teachers’ preparation’ (2014-2017). The project was designed and coordinated by Dr Avra Pieridou Skoutella and CCRSM Cyprus Centre for the Research and Study of Music, with the contribution of universities, schools, professional educational associations, academics, and professional music education trainers from the Euro-Mediterranean region. Hundreds of children, teachers and parents embraced and loved its activities and sound material.
MusiChild™ currently serves as an international music and music education innovation hub and high impact intercultural musical growth system signifier. MusiChild™ Publications series constitutes an international innovation for the engagement, sustainability, protection and promotion of European shared cultural heritage focusing specially on the Mediterranean musical heritage and its universal relevance in young children’s musical and cultural learning. They embrace cultural heritage as a pivotal component of cultural diversity and heterogeneity, inter-cultural dialogue and human relating and employ high-quality musical performances and the latest technological advancements.
Since MusiChild™ publication programme’s establishment (2018), its multi-lingual publications Mediterranean Musical Cradle (2018) Mediterranean Cumulative Songs for Children (2022, forthcoming) and Musical Gifts from Europe (under preparation) utilise sound material from the localities marked on the map attached below: