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Towards Musicking in a Public Sphere: 1-3 year olds and music pedagogues negotiating a music didactic identity in a Swedish preschool
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9007-8332
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis explores alternative ways of staging music in preschool. The ‘preschool subject of music’ is approached as a social and cultural construct that is embedded in discursive negotiations. Participants in the study are 1-3 year-old children and their music pedagogues, working in the preschool on a daily basis. In three studies, the negotiation of a local music ‘didactic identity’ is examined by answering research questions related to three different discursive levels: (i) the micro-level of face-to-face interaction; (ii) the level of pedagogue’s conceptions; and (iii) the political/societal level. Study I examines the participants’ use of semiotic resources in their co-construction of musicking events. By means of micro-analyses of video-recordings it is shown that mobility in the room is essential for the children’s access to instruments and other artefacts, and for their possibility to influence music activities. Other crucial conditions concern the pedagogues’ responsive uptake and improvisatory approach, and that the activities are open to other forms of expression. Study II explores conceptions of the ‘child’ and conceptions of ‘music’ in four music pedagogues’ talk in a group interview. Different conceptions of the ‘child’ are seen to interrelate with certain ontological and functional conceptions of ‘music’ that involve diverse opportunities for children’s (bodily) agency. This analysis is made by means of discursive psychology. Study III examines the music practices from a political and philosophical perspective, using Hannah Arendt’s concept of the ‘public sphere’. This third perspective shows how this preschool’s music practices create a public sphere by seriously putting into practice equality and plurality as values and principles that increase the equality between children and adults. Age power structures are thereby challenged, and the children can be seen as citizens in the ‘here and now’, and not in some distant future when they are grown-ups. Also, the ‘preschool subject of music’ itself becomes a negotiated issue.

Implications for preschool practice and preschool teacher education are discussed, and further research is suggested within other educational areas regarding how pedagogues’ interpretations of the concept of ‘children’s participation’ and ‘influence’ impact on specific preschool subjects, such as music.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Education, Stockholm University , 2016. , 144 p.
Keyword [en]
Music education, musicking, early childhood education, preschool, age power structures, very young children, subject specific didactics, public sphere, Hannah Arendt, cultural studies
National Category
Music Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134142ISBN: 978-91-7649-517-9ISBN: 978-91-7649-518-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-134142DiVA: diva2:1026292
Public defence
2016-11-25, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press.

Available from: 2016-11-01 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2016-11-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Musicking: Kreativ improvisation i förskolan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Musicking: Kreativ improvisation i förskolan
2013 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abstract

 

 

 

Musicking: Creative improvisation in preschool

(Musicking: Kreativ improvisation i förskolan)

 

This thesis draws on a video ethnography of music activities in a preschool setting in Sweden. It focuses on the participants’ co-construction of music activities and on their use of semiotic and material resources to constitute and sustain these activities. The videos document musicking (Small, 1998), that is, events involving a series of musical activities: work with instruments, dancing and movements, singing and listening.

The data were collected during one year and includes 24 hours of video films (altogether 30 musicking events). The participants in the study are 1-3 years old children and their music pedagogues (preschool staff members who worked in the preschool on a daily basis).

In terms of theoretical influence, the study is inspired by conversation analysis (Sacks, 1992), linguistic anthropology and work on aesthetic processes (Duranti & Black, 2012; Sawyer, 1997; 2003), as well as sociocultural theorizing (Lave, 1996; Rogoff, 1995; Wenger, 1998).

The findings show that the individual young children (2-year-olds) engage in musicking, and that they also initiative various novel activities: such as conducting, dancing, singing, and exploring instruments. In these activities, mobility in the room is essential for the children`s access to instruments and other artifacts and for their possibility to participate in specific activities. The musicking events evolve as multimodal events, where different participation strategies are allowed and creative improvisations involve both musical and extra-musical actions. But a major finding is that the music pedagogues’ responsive uptake and creative improvisations are critical for the individual children`s ability to participate in specific activities and for bringing together the individual child and the group in collaborative musicking.

Keywords: musicking, participation, interaction, multimodality, creative improvisation, semiotic resources.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen, 2013. 129 p.
Keyword
Musicking, participation, interaction, multimodality, creative improvisation, semiotic resources, Musicking, participation, interaktion, multimodalitet, kreativ improvisation, semiotiska resurser
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Child and Youth Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88733 (URN)978-91-637-2833-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-03-21, Sal 101, Frescati Hagväg 20, Stockholm, 15:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Forskarskolan: Globalisering, literacy och utforskande lärprocesser: Förskolebarns språk, läsande, skrivande och matematiserande (GUL).
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2013-03-26 Created: 2013-03-26 Last updated: 2016-10-07Bibliographically approved
2. Rethinking Music Activities in Preschool: Exploring links between conceptions of the child and conceptions of music
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rethinking Music Activities in Preschool: Exploring links between conceptions of the child and conceptions of music
2016 (English)In: Nordisk musikkpedagogisk forskning: Årbok, ISSN 1504-5021, Vol. 17, 103-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Music in preschool is mostly performed as singing-events in the form of circle-time, over which children do not have much influence. This article argues that research on music education in preschool often has overlooked this lack of influence. It explores how conceptions of ‘the child’ relate to different conceptions of music, and thereby impact on how music activities are staged in preschool. The primary empirical material consists of one group interview with four music pedagogues working together with 1–3 year olds in a Swedish preschool with an alternative approach. Through the use of Critical Discursive Psychology five interpretative repertoires of ‘the child’ are distinguished, among which ‘a child with rights’ is seen as encompassing the other four. Conceptions of the child as constantly learning and epistemologically equal to adults, and therefore granted the rights to explore the world without unnecessary bodily restrictions, ‘requires’ improvisational and trans-disciplinary conceptions of music, in which the child needs to have the right to bodily self-determination. The outcome of the study shows how conceptions of the child shape our conceptions of music, consequently resulting in multiple and diverse music practices.

Keyword
music in preschool, children’s participation, power structures
National Category
Music Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119510 (URN)
Note

Ej publicerad ML

Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2015-08-17 Last updated: 2016-10-13
3. Challenging Age Power Structures: Creating a Public Sphere in Preschool through Musicking
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenging Age Power Structures: Creating a Public Sphere in Preschool through Musicking
2016 (English)In: Action, Criticism & Theory for Music Education, ISSN 1545-4517, Vol. 15, no 5, 25-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the possibility of conceiving preschool music activities as a way of forming spaces of participation with society’s youngest. The discussion draws on Hannah Arendt’s (1958) definition of public spheres, and the argumentation is closely linked to an empirical example from musicking events with 1–3 year olds in a non-typical, arts-focused Swedish preschool. In their promotion of equality and plurality in this preschool, the children and the music pedagogues co-construct a public sphere by using a multitude of “languages” and challenge both the hegemonic position of verbal language and other age power structures. In this promotion, other “subjects of music” come into being. Thus, it is argued that society can perceive children as legitimized citizens in the “here and now” and not only in a distant future when they have become fully educated adults. The article challenges current preschool music education and demonstrates alternative social constructions.

Keyword
Early childhood music education, citizenship, Hannah Arendt, age power structure, very young children
National Category
Music Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Subject Learning and Teaching
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-134133 (URN)10.22176/act15.5.25 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-10-07 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2016-10-13Bibliographically approved

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