For 20 years I have been in and out of New York City early childhood classrooms, first as a teacher of 2- to 5-year-olds and then as a director. I was drawn to the field because I played guitar and believed in the power of music to bring joy, build community, and heal our souls during times of trouble. I believed children had a right to music every day, as a vehicle for social learning, language development, mental health and well-being. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, I was moved by people turning to music for emotional respite, singing from balconies and jamming on the front stoop with neighbors. Parents were DJing dance parties and offering children music as a psychological vacation from stress. Across cultures, music took on a deeply meaningful role to bring people together and help us get through a very hard time.

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