Maranatha Coursework Leads to ECMMA Certification

From left, Annelies Harmon (Music Ed), Melissa Aurand Haese (Piano Pedagogy), Kara Burgess (Piano Pedagogy), Jessica Garrison (Piano Pedagogy), and Savannah Bungert (Music Ed) receive their certificates from department chair, Dr. David Ledgerwood.



Five Maranatha music students completed a rigorous course of study and an extended early childhood music teaching practicum to earn the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association’s (ECMMA) Level 1 Certificate. Requirements for the certificate include

  • successful completion of Maranatha’s classroom-based course in early childhood music and movement,
  • 15 hours of course-related fieldwork at Maranatha Kiddie Kampus,
  • successful completion of Maranatha’s 4-week online early childhood music course,
  • and an additional year of teaching early childhood music and movement classes at Maranatha Kiddie Kampus and/or Maranatha Piano Prep School – at least 50 hours of additional teaching.

All student work was completed under the supervision of Dr. Rick Townsend, early childhood music course instructor and Maranatha’s Director of Music Teacher Education. Professionals in early childhood music and movement readily recognize Dr. Townsend’s name as he has a national reputation in the field of early childhood music. In addition to frequently writing scholarly articles for ECMMA Perspectives and Wisconsin School Musician, Dr. Townsend is the managing director of ECMMA and the Early Childhood Music Chair for the Wisconsin Music Education Association.

Thus far, eight Maranatha students have earned the ECMMA Certification by completing undergraduate coursework and teaching, the first certification program of its kind for ECMMA. In fact, Maranatha’s ECMMA certification model is recommended to universities by ECMMA, and these student’s accomplishments will be featured in the Summer issue of ECMMA Perspectives in an attempt to promote the adoption of Maranatha’s model.

Earning ECCMA certification is part of Maranatha’s piano pedagogy course requirements. Two recent piano pedagogy graduates have greatly benefited from earning this certification. Recent graduate, Abigail Call, is completing her first year of teaching at Tri-City Christian School in Independence, Missouri. To the delight of Tri-City’s music staff and pre-school parents, Abigail has had the opportunity to develop the early childhood music program in Tri-City’s pre-school. Similarly, Melissa Aurand Haese has been offered an early childhood music teaching position with Rockford Music Academy. If Melissa accepts their offer, Rockford Music Academy will work to develop additional contracts with area daycares to expand their program.