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Lori Custodero

Professional Background

Educational Background

Bachelor of Music, University of Redlands

 M.A., California State University

 D.M.A., University of Southern California

Scholarly Interests

Music in the lives of young children and families.
Contextual influences on music learning.
Musical engagement and development.

Selected Publications


Custodero, L. A. Britto, P. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003).  Musical lives: A collective portrait of American families. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24(5). 553-572.


Custodero, L. A., & Johnson Green, E. A. (2003). Passing the cultural torch: Musical experience and musical parenting of infants. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51(2), 102-114.


Custodero, L. A. (2003). Perceptions of challenge: A longitudinal investigation of children's music learning. Arts and Learning, 19, 23-53.


Custodero, L. A. (2002).  The musical lives of young children: Inviting, seeking, initiating. Journal of Zero-to-Three. 23(1), 4-9.


Custodero, L. A., Britto, P. R., & Xin, T. (2002).  From Mozart to Motown, lullabies to love songs: A preliminary report on the Parents Use of Music with Infants Survey. Journal of Zero-to-Three 23(1), 41-46.


Custodero, L. (2002). Seeking challenge, finding skill: Flow experience in music education. Arts Education and Policy Review, 103 (3), 3-9.


Custodero, L. & Williams, L. (2000). Music for everyone: Creating contexts for possibility in early childhood education. Early Childhood Connections, 6 (4) 36-43.


Custodero, L.  (1998).  Observing flow in young people's music learning.  General Music Today, 12 (1), 21-27.


Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Custodero, L. A. (2002). Forward. In T. Sullivan & L. Willingham, Eds.  Creativity and music education (pp xiv-xvi). Edmonton: Canadian Music Educators' Association.


biographical information

Dr. Lori Custodero, Associate Professor of Music and Music Education, has established an Early Childhood Music concentration at Teachers College that integrates pedagogy and research through both theory and practice. Her background includes degrees in piano performance and music theory: her doctorate in music education is from the University of Southern California.

Prof. Custodero's research has focused on children from infancy through preadolescence, and adults as musicians, teachers, and parents. She has presented and published on issues of musical challenge, engagement, and meaning in classrooms, playgrounds, and family settings; recent titles include "Singing Practices in Ten Families" and "Passing the Cultural Torch: Musical Experience and Musical Parenting of Infants" (Journal for Research in Music Education);  "Observational Indicators of Flow Experience: A Developmental Perspective of Musical Engagement in Young Children from Infancy to School Age" (Music Education Research); and "'Being With': The Resonant Legacy of Childhood's Creative Aesthetic" (Journal of Aesthetic Education).

A guest editor for a 2002 issue of the Journal of Zero to Three entitled "The Musical Lives of Babies and Families," Prof. Custodero has served in various professional leadership roles including Co-Chair of the Music Educators National Conference's Special Research Interest Group for Early Childhood. She recently finished a 6-year term as North American representative on the International Society for Music Education's Early Childhood Commission during which time she chaired seminars in Barcelona and Taipei. Interested in international issues of music education, she currently is involved in two projects, one involving flow experience and music teachers in Greece, and the other, a multi-national study on the spontaneous musical behaviors of young children. In addition to regular presentations at international conferences, Prof. Custodero has accepted invitations to speak in Australia, Greece, Crete, Portugal, England, Finland, and Taiwan.

In addition to the international work, Prof. Custodero has developed music programs with many local institutions in New York City, including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic, the Midori Foundation, and Columbia Head Start.

office hours

Fall 2013
Tuesday 4-5pm; 7-8pm
Wednesday 3:30-4:30 

office location

honors and awards

New York State School Music Association Featured Researcher                        2005

Outstanding Teacher Award                                                                                        2004-2005

Teachers College Faculty Diversity Research Award                                            2002

Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Redlands, Phi Beta Kappa              2001

Outstanding Music Education Doctorate, University of Southern California      1998

Pi Kappa Lambda Award, University of Southern California                                 1996,1998

Magna Cum Laude, California State University, Northridge                                 1987

Magna Cum Laude, University of Redlands                                                            1980

Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society                                                                              1979



principal publications

Refereed Articles

Custodero, L. A.  & Hafteck, L. C. (2008)  Harmonizing research, practice, and policy in early childhood music: A
chorus of international voices (part 2). Arts Education Policy and Review, 109 (3), 3-8.

Custodero, L.A. & Johnson-Green, E. A. (2008). Caregiving in counterpoint: Reciprocal influences in the
musical parenting of younger and older infants. Early Childhood Development and Care, 178 (1), 15-39.

Custodero, L. A. (2007).  Harmonizing research, practice, and policy in early childhood music: A chorus of
international voices (part 1). Arts Education Policy and Review, 109 (2), 3-6.

Custodero, L. A. (2007). Origins and expertise in the musical improvisations of adults and children: A
phenomenological study of content and process. British Journal of Music Education, 24(1), 77-98.

Custodero, L.A. (2006). Singing practices in 10 families with young children. Journal of Research in
 Music Education, 54(1), 37-56.

Nardo, R. L., Custodero, L. A., Fox, D. B., & Persellin, D.  (2006).  Looking back and looking forward: A
report of standards-based music practices in US preschools. Journal of Research in Music Education,54(4, 278-292.

Custodero, L. (2005, December 1). Making sense of “Making Special”: Art and Intimacy in musical lives and
educational practice. International Journal of Education & the Arts, 6(15). Retrieved [December 6, 2005] from http://ijea.asu.edu/v6n15/.

Custodero, L.A. (2005). Being with: The resonant legacy of childhood’s creative aesthetic. Journal of Aesthetic
Education.39(2), 36-57.

Custodero, L. A. (2005). Observable indicators of flow experience: A developmental perspective of musical
engagement in young children from infancy to school age. Music Education Research, 7(2), 185-209.

Custodero, L. A., & Neumann, A. (2005). Introduction. Aesthetic lives: Teaching and learning as creative work. 
Journal of Aesthetic Education. 39(2), 34-35.

Custodero, L. A. Britto, P. R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2003).  Musical lives: A collective portrait of American families.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 24(5). 553-572.

Custodero, L. A., & Johnson Green, E. A. (2003). Passing the cultural torch: Musical experience and musical
parenting of infants. Journal of Research in Music Education, 51(2), 102-114.

Custodero, L. A. (2003). Perspectives on challenge: A longitudinal investigation of children’s music learning. Arts
and Learning, 19, 23-53.

Custodero, L. A. (2002a). Seeking challenge, finding skill: Flow experience in music education. Arts Education and Policy Review, 103 (3), 3-9.

Custodero, L. & Williams, L. (2000). Music for everyone: Creating contexts for possibility in early childhood
education. Early Childhood Connections, 6 (4) 36-43.

Custodero, L.  (1999a).  Constructing musical understandings: The flow-cognition interface [Extended Abstract]. 
Bulletin for the Council of Research in Music Education, 142, 79-80.

Custodero, L.  (1998).  Observing flow in young children's music learning.  General Music Today, 12 (1), 21-27.


Non-refereed Articles: Research/practice/policy Audience

Custodero, L. A. (2002b). The musical lives of young children: Inviting, seeking, initiating. Journal of Zero-to-
Three. 23(1), 4-9.

Custodero, L. A., Britto, P. R., & Xin, T. (2002).  From Mozart to Motown, lullabies to love songs: A preliminary
report on the Parents Use of Music with Infants Survey. Journal of Zero-to-Three 23(1), 41-46.
 
Johnson-Green, E. & Custodero, L.A. (2002). Toddler top 40: Musical preferences of babies, toddlers, and their
parents. Journal of Zero-to-Three, 23(1), 47-48.

Custodero, L. A. (2001). Intersections: Musical experiences and the science of early childhood development. The
Grammy Foundation. Retrieved November 11, 2001, on the World Wide Web: http://www.grammy.com/features/foundation/0107.html.

Non-refereed Articles: Practitioner Audience

Custodero, L. A. (2007). Responding to the ecologies of music making in early childhood. The Orff Echo. 39(3), 45-48.

Custodero, L.A. (2005c). Of monuments and mosaics: The ISME Early Childhood Conference. Early Childhood
Connections, 11(1), 6-9.

Custodero, L. A. (2003, Winter). Rhythm and relationships: Music in the lives of children. Birth Through 5 News, 5,
 1-3.

Custodero, L.  (1999b).  Mozart, the muse, and the mind: What the current research tells us.  The Orff Echo, 31 (4),
34,36,38.  Reprinted in (2000) The Orff Beat, Orff Schulwerk Society of South Africa, 29 (1), 35, 37-40.

Custodero, L. (1997). Seeing with the heart: An interview with Mary Louise Reilly Knoblauch. California Music
Education Association News. 51 (1), 14-15, 18.

Custodero, L.  (1996). Context and discovery: Rethinking the nature of creativity.  The Orff Echo, 28 (4), 37-39.


Book Sections

Custodero, L.A. (in press). Intimacy and reciprocity in improvisatory musical performance: Pedagogical lessons
from adult artists and young children.  In S. Malloch and C. Trevarthen, Eds., Communicative musicality, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Custodero, L.A. (in press). Musical portraits, Musical pathways: Stories of meaning making in the lives of six families.  In Kerchner, J. and Abril, C. (in press) Music learning and teaching throughout our lives. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Custodero, L. A. (2007). The resonant legacies of childhood, in G. Kugiumutzakis (ed.), Sympantiki Armonia, Musike kai Epistimi, Ston Miki Theodoraki (Universal harmony, music and science , in honor of Mikis Theodorakis (pp. 333-346). Herakleion: Crete University Press.

Custodero, L.A. & St. John, P.A. (2007). Actions speak: Lessons learned from the systematic observation
of  flow experience in young children’s music making.  In K. Smithrim, Ed., Listen to their voices: Research
and practice in early childhood music (pp. 2-18). Toronto: Canadian Music Educators' Association.

Custodero, L.A. (2005). Buscando desafios, encontrando habilidades: A experiência de fluxo e a educação
musical. In: B.S. Ilari (Org.) Música, cognição e desenvolvimento (pp. 247-260) Campinas, SP, Brazil: Editora da Unicamp.

Custodero, L.A. (2005). What we know about learning. Teacher tips. Performance ideas. In Spotlight on music, Pre-K teacher’s guide. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill: New York.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Custodero, L. A. (2002). Forward. In T. Sullivan & L. Willingham, Eds.,  Creativity and
 music education (pp xiv-xvi). Edmonton: Canadian Music Educators' Association.


Conference Proceedings

Custodero, L. A. (in press). If you listen:  Flow as educative experience. Proceedings for Cerebral Palsy Greece
International Symposium, “Education: A Determining Factor in the Life of Every Human Being.” Athens, Greece: Cerebral Palsy Greece.

Custodero, L. A. & Stamou, L. (2006). Engaging classrooms: Flow indicators as tools for pedagogical transformation.
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. Bologna, Italy: Bononia University Press.

Custodero, L.A., Chen, J.J., Lin, Y.C., & Lee, K. (2006). One day in Taipei: In touch with children’s spontaneous music
making. Proceedings of the International Society for Music Education Early Childhood Commission Seminar, “Touched by Discovery” (pp. 84-91). Taipei, Taiwan: International Society for Music Education.

Custodero, L.A. (Ed.) (2004). Proceedings for Els Móns Musical dels Infants (The Musical Worlds of Children).
Barcelona, Spain: International Society for Music Education.

Custodero, L. A. (2002). Connecting with the musical moment: Observations of flow experience in preschool-aged
children. In S. E. Holgersen (Ed.), Proceedings of the International Society for Music Education Early Childhood Commission Seminar, “Musical Connections.” Copenhagen, Denmark: International Society for Music Education.

Custodero, L. A. (2000). Engagement and experience: a model for the study of children's musical cognition. In G. L. C. Woods, R. Brochard, F. Seddon, & J. A. & Sloboda (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition (pp. 683-690). Keele, UK: Keele University Department of Psychology.

Book Reviews

Custodero, L. A. (2004). [Review of the book Music for the under-fours]. Music Education Research, 6(2), 233- 236.

Custodero, L.  (1998).  [Review of the book Musical beginnings: Origins and development of musical competence].  Early Childhood Connections, 4 (2), 47-49.

Custodero, L.  (1997).  [Review of the book Sound choices: Guiding your child's musical experiences ]. American
Music Teacher, 46 (3), 54.

Custodero, L. (1996). [Review of the book Music matters]. American Music Teacher, 45 (4), 63-4.

Custodero, L.  (1996). [Review of the book Music in childhood].  American Music Teacher, 45 (3), 64-5.

Research Reports

Custodero, L. A., Greher, G. R., & Shrut, B. C. (2004). Review of The Dalton School's music program, K-12. New York: The Dalton School.

Custodero, L. A., Britto, P. R., Xin, T., Johnson Green, E., Sheu, L. & Littleton, D. (2002). Final report on the Parents Use of Music with Infants Survey Project. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University, Department of Arts and Humanities.

Custodero, L.A. (2002). Preliminary report on the Parents Use of Music with Infants Survey project. New York, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University, Department of Arts and Humanities.

Additional  Scholarly Products

Custodero, L A.. & Littleton, D. (2001). Sounds, stories, and symbols: A developmental sequence for teaching musical expression.  Public Broadcasting Company. Available: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/dancin/resources/lesson_plans.html.

Custodero, L. A. (2000). Introduction and liner notes.  On Smart symphonies [CD].  Los Angeles: The Grammy
Foundation.

Custodero, L. A. (1997).  Kettle Moraine kindergarten project: Treatment design guidelines.  In Great expectations for
children and learning, Wales, WI: School District of Kettle Moraine.

Custodero, L. (2000). Contributing author in S. H. Kenney and D. Persellin (Eds.), Designing Music Environments for Early Childhood.  Reston, VA: Music Educators National Conference.

Custodero, L.  (1995). Contributing author in W. L. Sims (Ed.), Strategies for Teaching Prekindergarten Music. 
Reston, VA.: Music Educators National Conference.


Theses

Custodero, L.  (1997).  An observational study of flow experience in young children's music  learning.  Unpublished
doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Custodero, L.  (1987).  In search of a method: A comparative analysis of four Strauss songs, Op. 27.  Unpublished
masters’ thesis, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA.

Custodero, L.  (1979).  For every action ... A consideration of motion and countermotion in Hector Berlioz' Nuits
 d'Ete.  Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA.

active professional organizations

American Educational Research Association               

American Orff Schulwerk Association

College Music Society

European Society for Cognition in Music

International Association for Jazz Education

International Society for Music Education

National Association for Music Education (MENC)

National Association for the Education of Young Children

Society for Education, Music, and Psychology Research

Zero-to-Three

A&HM 4021: Designing musical experiences for young children

Permission of instructor required. Prerequisite: A&HM 5022. Over-view of appropriate interactive practices, environmental design, and curriculum planning for young children from birth through age 7. Includes observations of exemplary teaching as well as practicum experience. Special fee: $40.

A&HM 4022: The Artistic Lives of Young Children

For preservice and in-service teachers of young children interested in integrative pedagogy focused on childrens engagement with music, art, movement, and dramatic play. Creative expression is explored within cultural, expressive, developmental, and curricular contexts through personal reflection, observation, and instructional design. Materials fee: $50.

A&HM 4901: Research and independent study in music education

For Music majors only. Research and independent study under the direction of a member of the Music Education Program faculty.

A&HM 5020: Foundations of music education

An examination of the historical, philosophical, psychological, and sociological bases of music education, emphasizing the implications for the development of curriculum, policy, and administrative leadership.

A&HM 5021: Instrumental instruction for children

Prerequisite: A&HM 5022. For private and group music teachers. Developmentally appropriate strategies and materials for instrumental instruction, integrating improvisation, composition, movement, singing, and ensemble playing. Special fee: $30.

A&HM 5022: Children's musical development

Overview of significant issues and current research regarding the development of musical skills and understandings in children through early adolescence. Includes observations of childrens spontaneous music-making. Special fee: $30.

A&HM 5143: Special topics in music: Comprehensive Musicianship

Selected topics of interest in music examined in depth. Topic announced each semester.

A&HM 5201: Fieldwork in music education

For Music majors only. Professional activities in the field under the supervision of a member of the Music Education Program faculty.

A&HM 5901: Research and independent study in music education

For Music majors only. Research and independent study under the direction of a member of the Music Education Program faculty.

A&HM 6501: Doctoral seminar in music education

Permission required from advisor and sign-up in the Music Office (520A Horace Mann) is also required. For Music majors only. Music doctoral candidates will identify their area of research interest and narrow their dissertation topic.

A&HM 6971: Research and independent study in music education

Permission required from advisor and sign-up in the Music Office (520A Horace Mann) is also required. Research and independent study under the direction of a faculty member in Music Education.

A&HM 7501: Dissertation seminar in music education

Permission required from advisor and sign-up in the Music Office (520A Horace Mann) is also required. For Music majors only. A required group tutorial for music doctoral students to help develop or refine topics of inquiry for research. The teaching format is flexible and may include faculty/student presentations, group discussions, and critiques. Preparation and presentation of dissertation proposal for approval. Students may register for a maximum of one term.

A&HM 8900: Dissertation advisement in music education

Permission required from advisor and sign-up in the Music Office (520A Horace Mann) is also required. Individual advisement on doctoral dissertations for music majors only. Fee to equal 3 points at current tuition rate for each term. For requirements, see section in catalog on Continuous Registration for Ed.D. degree.

Lori Custodero appeared in the following articles:

TC Launches $300 Million Fundraising Campaign for the Future (1/30/2014)

Looking Beyond The Frame (6/26/2013)

WeBop! (4/22/2013)

She Bops! (8/20/2012)

TC's Lori Custodero argues that children make their own music for reasons that meet development needs for expression, belonging, comfort and complexity (4/26/2012)

Everybody's Talking About Creativity - But Why Do We Need It in the Classroom? (6/1/2011)

Going Back to Creativity's Source (6/1/2011)

Academic Festival III: The Sessions (5/4/2011)

Employee News (2/11/2011)

Staffing News (12/17/2010)

2010-11: The Year of Research at TC (11/17/2010)

The State of the College: It's the Year of Research at TC (10/26/2010)

Five by the Faculty (1/11/2010)

Five by the Faculty (12/23/2009)

Fun and Games, with Music: New York Philharmonic Resumes "Very Young People's Concerts" (4/24/2009)

Pumpkin Jam (11/7/2008)

Elmo Learns the Drums, With Help from Teachers College (8/8/2008)

What is the Role of the Arts in 21st Century Schools? (5/8/2007)

Work on Diversity Action Plan Continues (3/30/2004)

Work on Diversity Action Plan Continues (2/24/2004)

Work on Diversity Action Plan Continues (2/24/2004)

Continuing to Repair the World (8/28/2002)

Doctoral Student in Learning Disabilities Reaches Out to the Middle East (1/1/2002)

Scholarships at Teachers College: (1/1/2002)

The Ben and Grace Wood Legacy (1/1/2002)

Music, Spiders and Giggles at the Pumpkin Playground (11/1/2001)

Communicating with Infants and Toddlers through Music (9/1/2001)

Winter Roundtable: Gender and Social Class Issues (3/1/2001)

Watch Spiders Fly at the Pumpkin Playground (11/1/2000)

"Flow" and Music Learning in Children (6/1/1999)

Teachers College Welcomes Sixteen New Faculty (8/1/1998)