Staff and parent views of the rationale for music in children's centres: a questionnaire study

Pitt, J. (2013) Staff and parent views of the rationale for music in children's centres: a questionnaire study. In: Conference of the European Network of Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children 2013, 17-20 July 2013, The Hague, The Netherlands.


Children’s Centres are widespread in England and comprise multi-professional staff teams seeking to work within a holistic framework with families with children aged 0-5 years. Centres are autonomous, and many favour evidence-based approaches to their work. Although group music sessions appear frequently on Children’s Centre activity programmes, the rationale for their inclusion remains unclear. This study seeks to explore staff and parents’ attitudes towards and perceptions of parent-child group music-making activities. My doctoral research project has a mixed-methods design and comprises a qualitative interview study (including both parents and staff participants) which adopted a grounded-theory approach to the data analysis; a quantitative questionnaire survey employing two different instruments; and a quantitative comparative study using behavioural observational methods in which music groups were compared with other activities. This paper presents findings from the questionnaire survey, which involved 49 staff and 91 parents. Seven thematic categories of the perceived benefits of music - Social, Emotion, Learning, Teaching, Links to home, Parenting, and Organisational – which had been identified in the interview study, were used as the basis of the design of the survey questionnaire. Initial statistical analyses revealed some significant differences between the expressed views of parent and staff groups, as well as between parents in different broad age groups. Staff members expressed more positive views about the perceived benefits of music for parents than were expressed by the parents themselves. Parents between the ages of 27-35 appear to express significantly more positive opinions on a variety of questionnaire items than did parents in both the younger and older age-groups. Some parents reported that music became more important in several ways in the home environment as a result of attending the music group. The role of the music leader in early childhood group music provision in Children’s Centres will be discussed, and practical implications for practitioners will be considered. *** The full text of this paper is available open access as part of the conference proceedings at the Official URL given below. ***

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item