Under the direction of Peter William Dykema, Professor and Chair of the Music Education Department at Teachers College, Columbia University from 1924-1940, the music curriculum greatly expanded. The 16 Music Education courses went far beyond offerings relating to musical art, community music, teaching of elementary school music, teaching of high school music, supervision of school music, and problems in school music -- to more than double the number of courses by 1935-1926, while also increasing degree requirements. Technical work in music lessened as relationships grew with the Music Teachers National Association, and the Institute of Musical Art based in New York City.
Interestingly, the work of the experimental schools associated with Teachers College, in particular the Lincoln School, offered the foundation for the philosophy and practices of curriculum expansion. While interest in teaching music to young children, ages 9-16, can be seen as early as 1913, thanks to the initiatives of Teachers College Professor Calvin B. Cady, Dr. Dykema took instruction to a new level by offering summer classes to babies and kindergarteners. Small children were encouraged to reveal their musical talents through the introduction of song and simple musical instruments, like rattles, bells, drums, and triangles. A leading music advocate, Dykema applied Dewey's philosophy as expressed in Art as Experience, and he pioneered early childhood music education in 1927, successfully reaching sold-out classes for the youngest ones by 1930.
Today the Teachers College program in Music and Music Education offers a concentration in Early Childhood Music Education, developed by Dr. Lori Custodero, in the field of early childhood research. Students involved in this course work may be invited to work with Dr. Custodero at the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center, a teaching and research facility located on the TC campus.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Alliot, H. (1913, Aug 13). Basic Value Of True Music.: Music Thinking New Development Of Ethical Education. Los Angeles Times (1886-1922)
- Spaeth, S. (1925, Mar 29). UR Common Cense of Music. The Sun (1837-)
- Teachers College Lists Many Summer Courses: Some Unusual Items Offered In the Field Of Music and Music Education. (1927, Jul 10). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Summer Music School To Open For Children: Teachers College Of Columbia To Conduct Demonstration Class July 5-Aug. l0. (1928, Jun 17). New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Opens Music School To Test a New Idea Teachers College Enrolls Nearly 100 Children For Intensive Training. (1928, Jul 10). New York Times (1923-)
- Children To Study Music At Columbia: Six Weeks' Summer Course To Be Held Of Lincoln School Of Teachers College. (1929, May 26). New York Times (1923-)
- Columbia To Teach Music To Babies: Rattles, Bells and Drums Will Be Used In Developing Creative Ability. Scope Of School Widened Older Children To Be Instructed At Summer Classes In Rhythm, Choral Singing and Piano. Talent To Be Encouraged. Emotions To Be Trained. Tasted To Be Developed. (1930, Jun 01). New York Times (1923-)
- Special to The New York Times. (1951, May 15). Dr. Peter Dykema, Educator In Music: Professor at Teachers College For 16 Years Dies. New York Times (1923-)
- Special to The Herald Tribune. (1951, May 15). Peter Dykema, Leader In Music Education, Dies: Retired Teachers College Department Head Was Community Music Pioneer. New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962)
- Nordlinger, S. E. (1959, Aug 30). Where Teachers Are Taught. The Sun (1837-)
- Kleiner, Lynn, Cecilia Riddell and Debbie Cavalier. Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too! Miami, Florida: Warner Bros. Pub., 1998. Curriculum M1993.K53 K5 1998
- Reed, Larry Woods. The History of the Department of Music and Music Education Teachers College, Columbia University, the Early Years, 1887-1939. New York, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1982. Closed Stacks Dissertations LD1269.5.T43 R44 1982. e-copy
- Sole, Meryl. Songs from the Crib: Toddlers’ Private Bedtime Vocalizations: A Collective Case Study. New York: Teachers College Columbia University, 2014. via Proquest, via Pocketknowledge
- Check out books written by Peter W. Dykema that are available at the Gottesman Libraries
- Lincoln School Of Teachers College. Summer Demonstration. (1936), Historical Photographs of Teachers College, Courtesy of Teachers College, Columbia University.
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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