Dr Aleksandra Acker
Aleksandra Acker is a lecturer and researcher, specialising in Music, Arts and Aesthetics, Creative Practice, and Inclusive Education in Early Childhood.
Aleksandra is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Education, where she also supervises Master and PhD students. She has conducted and published a number of studies concerning music and young children. In 2020 Aleksandra co-authored a book 'Adult Perspectives on Children and Music in Early Childhood' with Adj. Prof. Berenice Nyland (Springer); in 2015, with Routledge – 'Musical Childhoods: Explorations in the pre-school years'; in 2022, ‘Music Composition in Contexts of Early Childhood’ (Palgrave Macmillan).
As part of her creative research outputs, Aleksandra is the artistic director and vocalist of musical ensemble Anja & Zlatna (aniaizlatna.com). An accomplished ensemble performs traditional and contemporary melodies and sounds from the Balkans and beyond, fused with the structural architecture of baroque. Anja & Zlatna have performed for ABC Sunday Live, Melbourne Recital Centre, Australian Digital Concert Hall, and a number of international and humanitarian concerts which Aleksandra introduced as a series 'Music without borders'.
Aleksandra is a council member of Music Council Australia where she represents Early Childhood Music Education. Influenced by the programs of Reggio Emilia she wants to see music as an integral part of mainstream curriculum and treated as one of the languages of childhood.
Research projects and consultancy
Aleksandra's research aims to stimulate scholars, practitioners and a broader society to deeply consider and value the voices of young children in their musical and other creative endeavours.
Previous projects include a multi-case study of three different music specialists. In 2010, the Magic Flute Project explored children's engagement with different types of musical experiences. In 2011, the children's and teachers' singing groups and their sustainability program were the main focus of the research. Aleksandra was involved in establishing the ELC children's choir (an ongoing project: The ELC Children's Chorus: Singing for the Earth). In 2018, 'Young children's multimodal expressions of custodial responsibility to Earth' project began. In 2020, “The Yarra Songs’ continues to explore arts-based pedagogy that incorporates significant themes including a respect for Aboriginal culture.
Aleksandra collaborated with Family Services of Whittlesea Council, Melbourne, conducting workshops for early childhood professionals and families. These workshops highlight the benefits of music as a tool to explore diversity in early childhood settings. Aleksandra presents a repertoire of songs and chants that feature different languages and can be effectively used with young children. Future workshops will also explore inclusion of children with disabilities in general preschool settings.
- Bachelor of Education (RMIT University)
- Masters of Education (LaTrobe University)
- Doctor of Philosophy (RMIT University) – Doctoral Thesis: “Young Children, Music and Diversity”
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B.,Deans, J.,Payman, K.,Klarin, S. (2022). Music Composition in Contexts of Early Childhood, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2022). In press - The Black Swan: An early childhood music project In: International Journal of Music Education, 0, 1 - 12
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2021). Using visual images to enhance perspectives of children’s experiences: a musical case study In: International Journal of Early Years Education, , 1 - 20
- Acker, A. (2020). “Can We Have More Hand-Drums?” Preschool Children's Musical Play in a Program Exploring Diverse Languages In: Beijing International Review of Education, 2, 258 - 275
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2020). Adult Perspectives on Children and Music in Early Childhood, Springer, Switzerland
- Nyland, B.,Acker, A. (2017). Early childhood teacher training: music and a transnational experience In: Proceedings of the 17th International Seminar of the International Society for Music Education Commission on Early Childhood Music Education, Ede, The Netherlands, 17-22 July 2016
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B. (2017). Music as a platform for intercultural understanding: early childhood curriculum and a growing neoliberal imperative In: Intercultural Studies of Curriculum Theory, Policy and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, Switzerland
- Acker, A.,Jobson, S.,Nyland, B. (2017). Revisiting video data to research children's involvement when engaged in purposeful musical activity In: Australian Journal of Music Education, 51, 29 - 40
- Acker, A.,Nyland, B.,Niland, A. (2015). The relationship between children's learning through music and the use of technology In: Australian Journal of Music Education, , 64 - 74
- Acker, A. (2015). Lullabies, wedding and funerals In: Melbourne Recital Centre Spotlights Southbank, Melbourne
2 PhD Completions2 PhD Current Supervisions