Young Child Learns Music - Portland Conservatory of Music

Introducing PCM’s new program for Early Childhood Development!

PCM’s new program is for infants to five year olds, with parental participation. Using John M. Feierabend’s First Steps in Music as a resource, the program provides children with activities that prepare them for development in rhythmic and singing skills and instill in them a sensitivity to the expressive qualities of music.

The program launches in Spring 2020, but we’re offering sample classes this fall. Please sign-up by emailing our Registrar, Clare Crane, or call her at (207) 775-3356. Come meet our new Director of the program, April Masse.

Mondays | 3 sessions: 10/7, 11/4, 12/2

» Infants-2 years: 10:00-10:30 am
» 3 years-5 years: 11:00-11:45 am

About First Steps in Music from its creator, John M. Feierabend

“The First Steps in Music program is an attempt to preserve the rich repertoire of traditional and folk literature, and to enable today’s families to recall and learn songs and rhymes that have nurtured wonder and joy in young people for generations. It is based on an extensive survey of research related to the development of singing and movement skills in young children, as well as many years of practical experience sharing musical activities with this young age. It is this combination of research-based curriculum, quality literature, and practical experience that makes the curriculum unique. The authentic affection, innocence, and wonder of these songs and rhymes have the potential to plant the seeds of lifelong sensitivity and imagination.”

During the past 60 years families have been redefined. Where once there were large families living in proximity, now the nuclear family is much smaller and more geographically dispersed. This shift in family community has strained the continuation of aural traditions. The playful songs and rhymes that were once shared by many generations of children, and adults with children, are gradually being forgotten. The songs and rhymes that have demonstrated community affection and endorsement through the evidence of oral transmission are being replaced by commercially imposed ear candy, literature that provides a temporary rush but lacks long-term nutritional value.”

Parent Involvement

Teacher and parents work together to make music, movement, rhythm and rhyme a regular part of the children’s lives. Children often participate more freely at home than during class. For this reason, parents will learn the activities during class time so they can share them during more receptive times at home.

Value of Early Childhood Music Education

Exposing children to music early on ignites all areas of child development, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, literacy. At the same time, it instills in them a strong sense of rhythm, pitch, and expressivity. Early childhood music programs such as First Steps in Music also contribute to a stronger bond between parent and child as they share these musical experiences together.


Infants & Toddlers Length Preschool & Kindergarten Length
Music in My First year 30 minutes Music, Now I’m Three 45 minutes
Music, Now I’m One 30 minutes Music, Now I’m Four 45 minutes
Music, Now I’m Two 30 minutes Music, Now I’m Five 45 minutes

Infants and Toddlers

Classes include movements and activities such as bouncing, wiggling, tickling, clapping, simple songs, and lullabies.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Classes include movements and activities that focus on pitch exploration, movement exploration, movement for form and expression and beat motion through simple songs, song tales and song fragments.


April Masse, Faculty - Portland Conservatory of Music

The Early Childhood Music program is under the direction of April Masse who is completing her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Southern Maine. April is strongly committed to the teaching profession.  She is a member of both MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) and MMTA (Maine Music Teachers Association) and serves on the board of MMTA.

More Information

For class times, registration and other information regarding the Early Childhood Music program, please call the Portland Conservatory at (207) 775-3356 or email us.