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

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Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Name(s) of Author/Editor(s): 
Kathryn Marsh and Young-Youn Kim
Volume No.: 
Issue No.: 
Year of publication: 
Country of publication: 
Hong Kong
Country of Research Data: 
Korea, Sydney and USA
Although considerable attention has been devoted to the musical development of school aged children in the classroom, until recently studies which investigate the place of informal music education in school children’s lives have been less dominant in the literature. This article focuses on the forms of children’s self-initiated musical play that occur primarily in the context of the school playground or in the informal times and spaces between school lessons. Following their initial studies of children’s musical play in Australia (Marsh) and Korea (Kim) the researchers collaborated on an international research project which was undertaken between 2001 and 2004. The researchers sought to observe, collect and analyse children’s musical play in primary school playgrounds in a range of social, cultural and national contexts in order to determine characteristics of contemporary playground singing games, children’s ways of generating, teaching and learning them and aspects of the children’s environments which influence these forms of musical play. Comparisons are made between characteristics of children’s musical play in Sydney and central Australia, Busan (Korea) and Seattle (USA) within the contexts in which they occur. The emerging picture in each context is one of complex sociomusical influences leading to equally complex manifestations of musical skill and learning. These are discussed with reference to their implications for music education.
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