Indiana State University Newsroom

Community School of the Arts offers music teaching certification

May 2, 2016

The Community School of the Arts is offering a First Steps in Music class to anyone interested in becoming certified to teach music to children, ages birth to 7.

The first offering of this program is open to the public and will take place 9 a.m.-3 p.m. June 20-24 from on Indiana State University’s campus. No music experience is necessary to enroll. The course costs $500, and housing is available for out-of-towners.

Course participants will walk away with course material, knowledge and a certification in First Steps in Music education.

The First Steps program was created by John Feierabend and teaches children to become more “tuneful, beatful and artful,” according to Julia Heath-Reynolds, who is coordinating this class. Heath-Reynolds teaches Indiana State’s elementary and secondary music methods course for the music education department at Indiana State. Emily Maurek of Dyer will instruct the course.

“One of the great things about this program is that it brings out that one-on-one bond between people, it pulls children from the TV and into music and movement and it reminds us all what music can offer young brains,” said Heath-Reynolds.

Feierabend’s 30-year plan for music experience begins with teaching children about music and singing at a young age, so that when they are 30 years old, they will pass those lessons on to their children in an attempt to bring folk music and the comfort of singing back into American culture. In many cultures across the world, singing is a large part of childrearing traditions through lullabies and other folksongs. In modern America, our culture does not place the same weight into these aspects.

Using some familiar folksongs, and some less familiar, the First Steps program is designed to help participants feel comfortable and develop the skills to use music in the development of children. Not only singing, but also the movement to music is very important to children’s development, and this course can help bring these lessons to children on a wider scale.

“When you’re finished, you have the First Steps certification and you could do a toddler music class or you can use it in your home. Really it can be used wherever you want to use it, it’s a very complete system,” said Health-Reynolds.

Children are less hesitant to sing than adults are, and this program is aiming at transitioning the next generation of music minded adults to be more willing to use music in the classroom.

“I hope people learn that it’s okay to make mistakes in music, it’s for everyone,” said Heath-Reynolds.

To sign up, go to the Community School of the Arts website at For more information, email Heath-Reynolds at