Music is when sounds come together nicely. Researching preschool music education that is based on the image of the competent child
Bremmer, M., & Huisingh, A. (2009). Music is when sounds come together nicely. Researching preschool music education that is based on the image of the competent child. In: Young, S., & Adessi, A.R. (Red), MERYC2009. Proceedings of the 4th Conference of the European Network of Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children. Bologna: Bononia University Press.
Dutch music education in schools generally is based on the underexpectation of student’s musical development. From a social constructivist viewpoint however, a child is seen as competent: learning from the complex (musical) world and co-constructing knowledge in interaction with other children and adults. The aim of this research was to design and execute intervention in the preschool, which is based on the image of the competent child, and evaluate the opportunities and challenges of these interventions. Three categories of interventions were designed: (1) content interventions: confronting children with ‘complex’ music, visiting a concert and allowing children to explore various musical roles; (2) pedagogy interventions: learning music through musical interaction, exploring violins in small groups and bringing in professional musicians to learn with; and (3) media intervention: playing on real instruments (in this case violins). These interventions were executed by teachers, a pedagogue and musicians in three preschool groups, half an hour twice a week, over a six month period and evaluated by means of observations and interviews with teachers and musicians. The results show that the content and media interventions offered most opportunities for execution. The pedagogy interventions appeared most challenging; teachers and musicians felt they lacked time and skills in guiding the children appropriately. Social constructivist music education could, therefore, only be partially achieved due to lack of skills of the music teacher and musicians as well constraints following from the particular school environment. This papers ends with recommendations for future education.
Keywords: Social constructivism, preschool music education, qualitive research