UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Lum, Chee-Hoo
Dissertation (Ph.D.), University of Washington
Campbell, Patricia Shehan
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In this ethnographic study, the musical lives of a class of twenty-eight primary 1 children in Singapore have been examined using Urie Bronfenbrenner's bioecological model of human development as a basic theoretical framework. From macro- to micro-perspectives, children's musical lives will be examined for their separate and connected entities at home, in school, and as affected by larger social systems that are driven by politics and cultural identity. Beyond the musicking behaviors of children's play, self-expression and communication, the significance of technology and the media will be noted as the stories of the sound worlds of these children unfold. These sound worlds form the musical identities of the children through their processes of assimilation and accommodation. Taking into consideration the various contexts in which these children learn about music, where their musical identities are shaping under the influences of their techno-, media-, and ethno-scapes (these dimensions expounded by Arjun Appadurai), there are implications for their musical education. I will argue for an approach to children's musical education and training that is child-centered and constructivist, such that teachers begin with the children in mind and consider their prior musical experiences and their rich experiences outside school as members of a contemporary hybridized society.
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