Attitudes towards and perceptions of the rationale for parent–child group music making with young children

Pitt, J. and Hargreaves, D. J. (2016) Attitudes towards and perceptions of the rationale for parent–child group music making with young children. Music Education Research, 19 (3). pp. 292-308. ISSN 1461-3808 (print) 1469-9893 (online)

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of an interview study (phase one of a three-phase doctoral research project) that attempted to establish practitioners’ and parents’ views of why parent–child group music making activities are offered in interdisciplinary Children's Centres in England for the 0–3 years age range. These settings are community hubs where a range of services is available for families with children under five. The responses of individual parents and practitioners (total 20) to a standardised interview schedule gave rise to eight main themes: social, emotional, learning, teaching, parenting, musical, links-to-home, and organisational. Practitioners emphasised the learning and development benefits, whereas parents were more concerned about the social and emotional reasons for attending music groups. Practitioners and parents both emphasised the emotional benefits that resulted from participating in musical activities. These findings suggest that socialisation may be multi-dimensional in the music group: between parent and child and amongst the wider group. Practitioners’ knowledge of the benefits of music may not necessarily lead to appropriate pedagogical musical approaches and there are questions raised about musical ‘culture’ and links to and from home.

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