MusiChild™ aims to bring positive change to early childhood music education in schools and at home, in various settings and contexts across the 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 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, and 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 makes up the force that offers us direction, reflects our values and glues us together for transnational and cross-sectorial collaborations and synergies for 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 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 see, but relates 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 at the European Erasmus+ Conference «Paths towards European Citizenship through Cultural Heritage», September 2018, Palermo, Italy.
- Selected the project as a best practice project for the school sector to represent Cyprus at the 30Years Erasmus Programme Celebrations in May 2017, Bonn, Germany.
The first phase of the MusiChild™ Publication Series stems 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 makes up an international innovation for the engagement, sustainability, protection and promotion of European shared cultural heritage, focusing especially 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 the MusiChild™ publication programme’s establishment (2018), its multi-lingual publications Mediterranean Musical Cradle (2018) Mediterranean Cumulative Songs for Children ( forthcoming), and Musical Christmas Gifts (under preparation) utilise sound material from the localities marked on the map attached below: