Music for parent and child interaction

Pitt, J. and Fox, S. (2024) Music for parent and child interaction. In: Music and Parental Mental Wellbeing. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 213-236. ISBN 9780192863287 (paperback) 9780191954191 (online)


Chapter 10 explores parent-child musical interaction, outlining the origins of musicality inherent in emotionally important relationships from infancy. It discusses communication in early childhood and presents musical interaction as an important component to the earliest communicative expressions of young children. By removing words and focusing on musical playfulness, the work of an early childhood music-arts organisation—Magic Acorns—has discovered through extensive research-informed, reflective practice that parental wellbeing is enhanced when children are recognised as communicators. Findings for practice are outlined, calling for attuned, improvisatory practice built on reduced adult talk, as a decolonising and liberating approach. The chapter questions neoliberal, measurement-driven societal pressures and proposes an ethics of care as the starting point for practice focusing on interaction, music-play, parents, and young children.

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