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Title:Toddler music: a socio-cultural/historical examination of the musical development of two-year-olds and their carers in a child development laboratory classroom
Author(s):Wachtel, Donald
Director of Research:DeNardo, Gregory F.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeNardo, Gregory F.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Barrett, Janet R.; Walsh, Daniel J.; McBride, Brent A.
Department / Program:Music
Discipline:Music Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Music education
early childhood
child development laboratory
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to describe the music and musical practices two-year-olds, their caregivers, and I chose to purposefully engage in together, how this engagement reflected what was valued in various communities of practice they participated in in daily life, how this engagement reflected what music and musical practices they had access to, how access was given or obtained, and the ways musical practice was transformed in an early childhood classroom through mutual participation and negotiation of cultural meanings. The theoretical framework of this study is provided by the socio-cultural/historical learning theories of Barbara Rogoff (Transformation of Participation Perspective), Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (Situated Learning, Peripheral Participation, and Communities of Practice), as well as Lev Vygotsky (The Historical Child) and Jerome Bruner (Humans Predisposition to Culture). The following research questions were investigated: 1. How do the members of a two-year-old Child Development Laboratory (CDL) classroom share, negotiate, and transform musical understanding and activity through participation in a musical community of practice? 2. What are the cultural meanings behind what is shared and how are these meanings negotiated and transformed? 3. How do values and access influence what is shared, negotiated, and transformed musically in this CDL classroom? 4. What musical understandings and activities are brought into the CDL classroom and how are these musical understandings and activities shared, negotiated, and transformed? iii An interpretive, ethnographic research methodology was employed. Complete observer, observer participant, and participant observer data generation methods were employed through generating field notes and video recordings over five months in an intact classroom of two-year-olds and their teachers in an early childhood center housed at a large Midwestern university. Interviews with 10 parents, two teachers, and the associate director of the center were also conducted. Codes were developed that described the development of rapport between myself and the participants, the sociocultural aspects of the musical play the children, teachers, and myself engaged in alone and together, and personal and communal recurrences that centered on musical activity between participants. Four themes related to theories of sociocultural development that formed the conceptual framework of the study were observed during the data generation process. 1. Music play occurred when singing, recorded music, and musical instruments were introduced into play. 2. Music play involving singing, recorded music, and playing instruments transformed activity. 3. Music play that was introduced into activity was altered and expanded upon by the introduction of others’ ideas. 4. The participants understood why I was there and because of this interacted with me with musical intention during play. iv Four themes related to how spontaneous music play changed and was changed by sociocultural interactions among the participants emerged from analysis of the data. These included: 1. Spontaneous music play was the result of intentional acts between participants. 2. Spontaneous music play was the result of intersubjectivity between participants. 3. Spontaneous music play was the result of neural fabulation. 4. Spontaneous music play became recurrent through the development of a musical “We.” Implications for research and pedagogy in early childhood education were identified for early childhood educators, music educators interested in early childhood music education, and music educators who work with early childhood educators. These implications focus on the nature of spontaneity in daily sociocultural interactions through music play in early childhood settings.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Donald Joseph Wachtel Jr.
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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