Early Childhood Music Explorations


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The Conservatory’s Early Childhood Music curriculum was written by our team of 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

Studies show the benefits of starting music at an early age:

· Higher test scores in 1st & 2nd grade
· Improved memory and brain development
· Advanced hearing and physical skill
· Accelerated identification of emotions

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.

Group Classes for Babies (4-11 months & caregiver)

Promote your baby’s physical and mental development in this unique musical experience. You and your child will learn songs, rhymes, finger plays, and lullabies that you can recreate at home together. Get an early start building the foundation for your child to enjoy a life-long love of music.

Wed, Sept 13 – Dec 6 · 11:30-12:05 PM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Fri, Sept 15 – Dec 8 · 11:30-12:05 PM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Group Classes for Toddlers (1 year & caregiver)

Advance your child’s development with this age-appropriate, engaging course that will focus on vocalizing, rhythm, and responding to music through movement. Parents/caregivers participate to create a fun bonding experience with your child.

Sat, Sept 9 – Dec 9 · 10:45-11:20 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 10:30-11:05 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Sept 13 – Dec 6 · 9:45-10:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Thu, Sept 14 – Dec 7 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Sept 16 – Dec 9 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 12 weeks · $149 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 9:15-9:50 AM
Anna Rasmussen · 12 weeks · $149 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Fri, Sept 15 – Dec 8 · 9:45-10:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Group Classes for Tots (2 years & caregiver)

Introduce your child to new musical concepts that will develop motor skills and an aural awareness with singing, rhythm, rhyming, finger plays, and creative movement. Participate in activities alongside your child and learn how to re-create the basic musical concepts explored in class.

Sat, Sept 9 – Dec 9 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 9:45-10:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Sept 13 – Dec 6 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Thu, Sept 14 – Dec 7 · 9:45-10:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Sept 16 – Dec 9 · 10:45-11:20 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 12 weeks · $149 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Fri, Sept 15 – Dec 8 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $149 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Group Classes for Kids (3-4 ½ years & caregiver)

Develop your child’s mental, social, and creative skills. Your child will experience and learn basic musical concepts, develop tonal and rhythmic skills through music, literature, and art, and build social bonds with other children in the class.

Sat, Sept 9 – Dec 9 · 9:45-10:35 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 12 weeks · $189 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

 Thu, Sept 14 – Dec 7 · 11:30 AM-12:20 PM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $189 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Group Classes for Families (4 months – 5 years)

*$80 Off second and subsequent children*
Enhance your child’s mental and social skills in this group class that welcomes children 4 months to 5 years old. Groupings of this age range will help your child’s natural learning as younger children enjoy imitating older ones and older children learn by leading the younger ones. Activities are specially designed to support a lifelong love of music by promoting early exposure.

Sat, Sept 9 – Dec 9 · 11:30 AM-12:20 PM
Meaghan Heinrich · 12 weeks · $189 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 11:15 AM-12:05 PM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $189 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Sept 13 – Dec 6 · 10:30-11:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $189 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Thu, Sept 14 – Dec 7 · 10:30-11:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $189 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Sept 16 – Dec 9 · 9:45-10:35 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 12 weeks · $189 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Tue, Sept 12 – Dec 5 · 10:00-10:50 AM
Anna Rasmussen · 12 weeks · $189 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Fri, Sept 15 – Dec 8 · 10:30-11:20 AM
Elise Pennington · 12 weeks · $189 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Winter Jamboree · Carnival of the Animals (2 – 5 years)

Let your child make the Carnival of the Animals come alive! You and your child will explore instruments, movement, art, and storytelling in this fun, educational 4-week course. Learn songs, enjoy puppetry and dramatization activities, and create art.

Tots (2 years & caregiver)

Tue, Jan 9 – Jan 30 · 9:15-9:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Tue, Jan 9 – Jan 30 · 10:00-10:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Jan 10 – Jan 31 · 9:15-9:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Jan 10 – Jan 31 · 11:00-11:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 9:00-9:35 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 10:45-11:20 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 4 weeks · $59 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Thu, Jan 11 – Feb 1 · 9:30-10:05 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 9:15-9:50 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 4 weeks · $59 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Tue, Jan 9 – Jan 30 · 9:30-10:05 AM
Anna Rasmussen · 4 weeks · $59 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Fri, Jan 12 – Feb 2 · 9:15-9:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $59 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Kids (3-4 ½ years & caregiver)

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 9:45-10:35 AM
Meaghan Heinrich · 4 weeks · $69 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Fri, Jan 12 – Feb 2 · 11:00-11:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $69 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Families (4 months – 5 years)

Tue, Jan 9 – Jan 30 · 10:45-11:35 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $69 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Wed, Jan 10 – Jan 31 · 10:00-10:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $69 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 11:30 AM-12:20 PM
Meaghan Heinrich · 4 weeks · $69 · McIntosh|Goodrich
> REGISTER

Thu, Jan 11 – Feb 1 · 10:15-11:05 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $69 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 10:00-10:50 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 4 weeks · $69 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Sat, Jan 13 – Feb 3 · 11:00-11:50 AM
Nathan Wesselowski · 4 weeks · $69 · Audubon Court
> REGISTER

Tue, Jan 9 – Jan 30 · 10:15-11:05 AM
Anna Rasmussen · 4 weeks · $69 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Fri, Jan 12 – Feb 2 · 10:00-10:50 AM
Elise Pennington · 4 weeks · $69 · Wilson Center
> REGISTER

Early Childhood Faculty

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.

Meaghan Heinrich

Chair, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion

Chair, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion

Meaghan Heinrich is Chair of the Woodwind, Brass & Percussion Department at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, where she teaches oboe, early childhood music, and K-5 general music classes. Prior to coming to the Conservatory, she was Manager of Learning Programs and Community Engagement for The Cleveland Orchestra, where she continues to present guest workshops and pre-concert lectures.  In her previous position as Education Director of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Heinrich spearheaded the development and implementation of a strategic plan for new education programs, including the creation of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Ms. Heinrich holds degrees in oboe performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (BM) and Rice University (MM).  As an oboist, she spent four years (two as Co-Artistic Director) touring nationally with the multi-disciplinary ensemble Tales & Scales, including appearances on family concerts with the Dallas Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and Louisville Orchestra.  She performs regularly with orchestras in the greater Milwaukee area, and is a frequent guest speaker for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s “Meet the Music” pre-concert talks.

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.

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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