Early Childhood Music Explorations

WCM’s Music Explorations curriculum was written by our team of early childhood specialists to address the specific needs of each stage of development.  Our program develops fine motor, gross motor, social, listening, and sequencing skills, all while giving kids a solid foundation for a lifetime of music making. With their peers and parents, children explore singing, playing rhythm instruments, and moving to the music.  At the same time, students will:

  • Learn basic musical concepts
  • Sing fun and age-appropriate songs
  • Develop listening skills
  • Experience percussion instruments hands-on
  • Combine movement and dance with music

Each age appropriate, sequential course introduces and reinforces musical skills and concepts like high/low, soft/loud, keeping a steady beat, and singing on pitch.  A parent or caregiver participates with their child in class.


Music Explorations: Spring 2017

Babies (4-11 months & caregiver)  |  REGISTER
You & your baby will have a unique musical experience as you learn songs, rhymes, finger plays, bounces, wiggles, and lullabies that you can recreate at home.  Research indicates that providing a rich variety of experiences during the first year of life promotes strong brain development.  Together we can help lay the foundation for your child’s life-long love of music.

Toddlers (1 year old & caregiver)  |  REGISTER
Explore musical concepts and activities appropriate for one-year olds.  Children are encouraged to experiment with singing or vocalizing, explore how to play percussive instruments, and respond to music through movement.  These activities help one-year olds practice keeping a steady beat and learn about in tune singing.  Parents or a caregiver participate to create a fun bonding time with their child.

Tots (2 years old & caregiver)  |  REGISTER
Your two-year-old will develop motor skills and an aural awareness as he/she sings, learns rhymes and finger plays, plays percussion instruments, and explores creative movement. Parents or caregivers will take part in the activities to help our two year olds learn how to re-create the basic musical concepts we explore in class.

Kids (3 – 4 1/2 years old & caregiver)  |  REGISTER
Your child will experience and learn basic musical concepts and develop tonal and rhythmic skills through music, literature and art. Each child is encouraged to participate at his/her own level in singing, movement, listening and instrument exploration. You and your child will enjoy interacting both with each other and with peers in the class.

Families (4 months-5 years old & caregiver)*  |  REGISTER
Designed to accommodate families with multiple children in a family-style learning setting, our Music Explorations: Families classes combine children of various ages. Their interactions foster learning as younger children watch and imitate older ones, while older children learn by leading the younger ones. Activities are designed to offer early exposure to music while challenging budding musicians.

*Multi-age classes are ideal for sibling groups, as well as, individual children. 

Music Discoveries for Kids

These classes are the next step after our Music Explorations series.

Ensemble Discoveries

Piano Discoveries

Hand Drumming Discoveries (K4-3)


The Early Childhood Faculty is comprised of nurturing, caring and understanding teachers who are highly trained to prepare young students for a lifetime of musical enjoyment.

Elise Pennington

Chair, Early Childhood, General Music

Chair, Early Childhood, General Music

WCM faculty member since 2005. B.M. with a minor in psychology, from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. While attending DePauw University she taught preschoolers at the Tutor Time Child Care/Learning Center. Elise has also worked as a music teacher for Little People’s Music, Inc. Elise has received training in the Kodaly Concept, completed coursework at the Community Coordinated Child Care Center and is certified as a lead Early Childhood Teacher. Elise has worked at the Academy of Learning and Leadership for three years as a preschool teacher of two to four year olds. In addition to teaching in the Early Childhood Program at the school she also taught music to children in grades K4-8.

Emma Koi

Faculty, Flute, Early Childhood

Faculty, Flute, Early Childhood

Emma Koi maintains an eclectic career as an orchestral, chamber and collaborative flutist. She is an alum of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Principal Flute of the Festival City Symphony, Third Flute/Piccolo with the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a frequent substitute musician with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. She has worked under the batons of conductors Edo de Waart, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jaap van Sweden, and Ricardo Muti, among others.

An active chamber musician and collaborative flutist, Ms. Koi is an alum of the Leonard Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music and the Bowdoin Institute of Chamber Music. She has performed locally with Milwaukee Musaik, Frankly Music, Access Contemporary Music for Doors Open Milwaukee, and on recital projects with Milwaukee area chamber musicians. She enjoys a regular schedule of collaborative projects, and has worked with Danceworks Performance Company, Wild Space Dance Company, and in collaboration with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne. She is the founder of Cadance Collective, an interdisciplinary performance ensemble based in Milwaukee.

In demand as a teacher and clinician, Ms. Koi has served as a coach for youth band and orchestra programs throughout the country and was on the faculty at the Festival of Youth Orchestras and Choirs in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2011. She has served on the faculty at Mount Mary University, and is currently on the faculty at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Koi holds a Master of Music in Flute Performance from Carnegie Mellon University  and degrees in music (BA) and dance (BFA) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Anna Rasmussen

Faculty, Violin, Suzuki, Early Childhood

Faculty, Violin, Suzuki, Early Childhood

Anna Rasmussen is an active chamber and orchestral musician and has been a Suzuki teacher since 2007. She has played with several orchestras in Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas, including Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Western Piedmont Symphony, Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and Waco Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Rasmussen loves the collaboration of chamber music. She was the first violinist in the Spiritoso Quartet, has played in several chamber ensembles with other faculty members of the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, CT, and regularly performs with her husband, Charlie. She has recorded tracks for Paul Bogaev, and, as a member of the Spiritoso Quartet, she premiered a string quartet by Elise Grant in 2015.

Ms. Rasmussen received her Master’s in Violin Performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Baylor University. Her violin teachers include Fabian Lopez, Eka Gogichashvili, and Julia Hardie. She has done Suzuki Teacher Training with Julia Hardie, Mark Mutter, and long-term training with Allen Lieb at the School for Strings in New York City. She has taught at Suzuki, traditional, and El Sistema-inspired schools in Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas.

Lynn Roginske

Faculty, Early Childhood, Piano

Faculty, Early Childhood, Piano

WCM faculty member since 1975. B.M. Wisconsin College-Conservatory; M. M. Wisconsin Conservatory of Music; D.P.I. Certification in Music and Choral Education, Alverno College. Jazz piano and composition studies under Tony King, Martha Artis, Eddie Baker and David Hazeltine. Ms. Roginske is in demand throughout Wisconsin as a piano soloist and with her jazz trio. She regularly performs on the Family Concert series at the Conservatory. In addition to her work at the Conservatory, Ms. Roginske works as a Music/Adaptive Music Specialist for the Milwaukee Public Schools and has taught at Alverno College.

James Vernola

Faculty, Early Childhood

Faculty, Early Childhood

Mr. Vernola graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with a degree in Music Education certified in k-12 instrumental and general music, along with an adaptive licensure in special education. He is trained in Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze methods of teaching and also has extensive experience in hand drumming and the percussive arts. Mr. Vernola is passionate about folk songs and dances and believes in teaching from a world/cultural perspective.

Nathan Wesselowski

Faculty, Voice (Tenor), General Music, Musical Theater

Faculty, Voice (Tenor), General Music, Musical Theater

WCM faculty member since 2010. Nathan is a proud member of AEA (Actor’s Equity Association) and AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists). He has been performing professionally in opera, music theatre, and theatre since 1996. He has sung with Skylight Music Theatre, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Cleveland Opera, Florentine Opera, The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Ash Lawn Highland Summer Festival, The National Opera Company, Mill Mountain Theatre, The Fireside, In Tandem Theatre, First Stage Children’s Theatre, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Bialystock & Bloom, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Racine Symphony Orchestra, Promethius Trio, and Danceworks. Nathan is also a composer, his works include the musical he wrote with Mondy Carter, A TWISTED CAROL, which performed to a sold out run with In Tandem Theatre in 2015, EURYDICE a song cycle for 2 sopranos which was performed on Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s Eurydice Festival and he serves as an At Large Board Member and Education and Outreach chair for Milwaukee Opera Theatre’s Board of Directors. Nathan received his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from Baker University in Baldwin City, KS, and his Master of Music in Voice Performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, OH.

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