Harmonizing Research, Practice

Harmonizing Research, Practice, and Policy in Early Childhood Music: A Chorus of International Voices (Part 2) Lori A. Custodero & Lily Chen-Hafteck a b a b Music and Music Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University Music Department, Kean University, New Jersey Version of record first published: 07 Aug 2010. To cite this article: Lori A. Custodero & Lily Chen-Hafteck (2008): Harmonizing Research, Practice, and Policy in Early Childhood Music: A Chorus of International Voices (Part 2), Arts Education Policy Review, 109:3, 3-8 To link to this article: http://dx. doi. org/10. 3200/AEPR. 109. 3. 3-8
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The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. Copyright © 2008 Heldref Publications Harmonizing Research, Practice, and Policy in Early Childhood Music: A Chorus of International Voices (Part 2) LORI A. CUSTODERO and LILY CHEN-HAFTECK Editor’s note. Lori A. Custodero and Lily Chen-Hafteck served as guest editors for both Part 1 and Part 2 of the special issue International Policies on Early Childhood Music Education: Local and Global Issues

Revealed. n the November/December 2007 issue of Arts Education Policy Review, readers were introduced to early childhood music policies in Brazil, England, Kenya, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and the United States. In this collection, a second ensemble of experts from Australia, China, Denmark, Korea, Israel, and Taiwan joins them. Like the previous issue, these authors presented papers or workshops at an International Society for Music Education, Early Childhood Music Education Seminar in Taipei in 2006 and wrote new articles for inclusion here.
They responded to the same charge as the previous authors to answer the following questions: • What policies currently exist in your country for early childhood music education? • To what extent do these policies meet the needs of children in your country? • How are teachers prepared to teach early childhood music in your country? • In what ways do local and global cultures figure into the policies and practices of early childhood music in your country? Additionally, we offered the following questions, to be addressed at the author’s discretion: • Do different musical cultures require different instructional approaches?
And, conversely, are certain music instructional approaches culture specific? How does this impact policy and practice of early childhood music in your country? • What are the potential risks and rewards of mandating multicultural musical experiences for young children? Finally, we asked authors to address any issues specific to their regions and to make concrete suggestions regarding policy for their countries. Salient themes emerged addressing what was taught and who was responsible for that content.
In many ways these two conditions are inseparable, interrelated through the social nature of musical experiences. In these accounts, we also see ways in which content and delivery shape reception and how that process, in turn, defines and is defined by culture. Examining these geographical contexts raises questions about atti- I tudes, practices, and policies concerning early childhood music education that have significance for many of us. We chose three threads of inquiry from the many that weave these single texts into a textual fugue: (a) ensions between child and adult culture; (b) competing influences by global, regional, and local agencies on standards and curricula; and (c) expectations for teacher knowledge and preparation. Competing Cultures: Child and Adult The existence of a musical culture in early childhood, which is distinctly different from the adult culture, is based on studies showing similarities of vocal contours used in communication between infants and mothers across cultures (Papousek 1996), as well as research regarding the differences between music made by children and adults (e. . , Bjorkvold 1992; Campbell 2007; Littleton 1998; Marsh 1995; Moorhead and Pond 1941). Sven-Erik Holgersen’s article on early childhood music in Scandinavia describes practices in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway that are sensitive to the child’s culture. The cultural clash in those regional systems exists between programs that favor an elemental or natural approach to education for the young based on the free play aesthetic and those that see music Vol. 109, No. 3, January/February 2008 3 as a mode of artistic expression requiring learned skills.
Lily Chen-Hafteck and Zhoyua Xu and, separately, Jennifer Chau-Ying Leu found preschools in Chinesespeaking countries to have a strong sense of adult culture. Most parents and teachers believe school should stress academic learning rather than play, so that children can achieve high scores on tests and examinations. Chinese culture also stresses study and hard work as important for academic success. In Korea, Nam-Hee Lim and Shunah Chung found that adults believe young children need close supervision and guidance from teachers and parents in their development.
Therefore, children’s natural tendency to be playful and creative is not recognized as a core value in school; potential for future success drives decisions. These cultural differences are interactive with and reflective of current conditions and regional history. In China, for example, books were printed with movable type as early as the eighth century, whereas in Europe copies were still drawn by hand until the 1400s. Such a long history of text accessibility elevated reading and writing to a valued skill that was recognizable and sought (Smith 1991).
Societal values may offer another lens to interpret early academic emphasis, such as those espoused by Confucius, for whom morality and caring for others, especially family, were primary. In terms of contemporary conditions, Louie Suthers of Australia notes that in her varied country one can see differences in starting ages of pre-primary education. In Denmark, the children start at three years of age and continue for four years. In China, pre-primary education starts at four years of age and continues for three years, although care is available in each country mentioned from birth.
Also of note, the average student teacher ratio in China is 28:1, differing from Hong Kong’s average ratio of 16:1. The older starting age in China may perpetuate (or reflect interest in) the schooling culture. Leu’s discussion of the importance of family context is relevant to this point, inasmuch as it may provide the space for child culture 4 Arts Education Policy Review to flourish while adult culture is operating at school. Claudia Gluschankof writes about the purposeful creation of materials for the child culture with the development of the New Hebrew Culture in the Israeli territories during the early 1900s.
Preschools were created based on the Froebel playcentered model and provide an unusual case in the concentrated production of children’s music in a language that had no such repertoire prior to the kindergartens establishment. The conscious choice to provide young children with cultural tools for understanding at the earliest stages of a community is reminiscent of Sheila Woodward’s discussion concerning the importance of children in nation building in South Africa, featured in the previous issue of this journal.
In her conclusion, Gluschankof raises important questions concerning this created canon of songs and the lack of repertoire for Arab-speaking children. Using the idea of child culture as a lens for viewing cultural and educational policies provides a useful way to understand differences and similarities in political systems that define the worlds in which we teach, research, and cohabitate. Such understanding may lead to more focused and meaningful questions that may reveal inequities or alternative directions in music education worthy of exploration.
Considerations of these policies regarding conceptions of adulthood and childhood lead directly to curricular influences that we view from a related dialectic: the local and global. Local and Global Influences: Child and World In the first part of this symposium, we focused on the tension between small and large scaled views of what should be taught, each serving a different societal need. In the second part, we speak more specifically to the notion of a national curriculum because it is mentioned in each of the articles collected here.
We are interested in questions dealing with how these personal and collective influences affect children’s music education: “Does governmentmandated standardized curriculum limit possibilities or insure access of quality to all children? ” and “What is the exemplar to which music education should be standardized? ” The first question is meant to generate critical thinking regarding what and how policymakers might send messages about music education in the early years; the second is meant to question assumptions we might have surrounding best practice and the cultural nuances that shape it.
Suthers, discussing Australia’s situation, is mindful that there is no national music curriculum for pre-primary school and points to a recent reform movement in music education that excluded early childhood experiences. She notes that this leaves teachers feeling isolated and that their work is undervalued. Alternatively, Gluschankoff discusses the children’s music written in Hebrew as somewhat ideological and makes suggestions for addressing the inclusion of additional materials to meet the needs of a multicultural society.
One of the ways in which the national curriculum may become nationalistic is in the mandates or recommendations around singing repertoire. The role played by singing in socialization is significant and has been used for centuries to transmit cultural values, to teach language, and to establish qualities of rhythmic energy that typify a way of being; Dissanayake (2000) makes the case for mutuality and belonging as ways the arts are meaningful to us.
Inasmuch as collective singing creates a sense of belonging, we have a responsibility to monitor the ways in which we look at the child and the world (see Leu’s article describing ecological systems and Lim and Chung on the supportive role of adults). Chen-Hafteck and Xu also write about the importance of family singing and the differing role of school music. When local knowledge is replaced by chauvinism, music can be decontextualized. Because musicality is deeply rooted in shared experience, (Trevarthen 1999) we need to guard the personal and not expose children’s vulnerability to politicization.
Our concern regarding global trends also involves the perception that globalization means movement toward Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 14:58 28 March 2013 Western ideals. Attention to the local, once again, is necessary to adequately implement any change. In China, for example, although the new educational policies follow the global trends rhetorically, espousing learning through play and stressing personal expression and creativity, its usefulness is severely hampered by conflicting views in the local tradition regarding a deep belief in academic success as the consummate benchmark.
Holgerson considers a similar dissonance between local needs and governmental responsibility to all children through the philosophical lens of Bildung, a generative model that keeps the questions about such disconnections at the forefront of practice. Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 14:58 28 March 2013 Teacher Knowledge: Child and Music Practice policies are perhaps best viewed vis-a-vis teacher preparation— what do we value as knowledge? For most of us, early childhood musical practice involves understanding as much as we can about children while keeping the cultural context in mind.
This might include individual experiences that contribute to their uniqueness and developmental trends that might give indications about what to expect in terms of maturation. What knowledge do we need of music? In this issue, the authors discuss the importance of a diverse and culturally responsive repertoire, singing range, quality of recordings, appropriate use of instruments, and sound sensitivity. In this collection of articles, the authors suggest that these two knowledge areas are rarely considered together and that they exist in bifurcation, at least conceptually.
Across the globe, there are those who are considered to have knowledge of the child in context (families or generalist teachers) and those who have knowledge of the child in music (specialists). Holgersen describes this dichotomy in practical terms—music activities and music teaching. The goals of using music are indeed varied and the complexity of music leads to multiple possibilities worthy of exploration. Among the authors there is a consensus concerning the need for collaboration between the two areas of expertise with several concrete recommendations.
Reasons for this common phenomenon center on the systems in place for teacher preparation and the institutional divisions of disciplines; authors advocate for more carefully structured professional development to help bridge the disciplinary divide. Knowing the body of work of these authors, we are familiar with their efforts to form partnerships with local child care specialists and have been involved with such partnerships at our universities. Child and Adult It is noteworthy that many of the responses are about memories of musical adults who were influential in their music education.
Graham Welch (pers. comm. ) offers: I was educated in a Church of England Primary school in London . . . where we sang, often with the local Vicar leading on the piano. I can remember his enthusiasm, quick tempo and intensity of keyboard playing. F or most of us, early childhood musical practice involves understanding as much as we can about children while keeping the cultural context in mind. We believe them to be some of the most meaningful opportunities for our own teacher knowledge.
Policy and Personal Voice In addition to the authors featured here, to inform our sense of the historical significance of current situations regarding early childhood music and the breadth to which our profession defines policy, we asked our colleagues involved in international musical education about their memories of early childhood music education and their relationship to policy with the following questions: 1. Reflecting on your childhood before age eight, what were the influences of policy on your music education? . How does this compare with today’s situation for young children? Responses were varied and provided insight through a self-reflective lens. We looked at the seven responses regarding their relatedness to our three topics and to how policy can reach us as individuals in a long-lasting way. Alda Oliveira (pers. comm. ) from Brazil also reflected on a teacher: The first time I went to school I was seven years old. At this age I choose to take piano lessons with a private piano teacher.
She was a marvelous teacher since her method included not only playing by reading and singing the notes, but also playing by ear and some popular songs. Family members had a strong musical presence in June Boyce Tillman’s (pers. comm. ) childhood in England: “My music was regularly singing with and listening to the playing of my paternal grandfather who was the village dance band pianist. ” Margre van Gestel (pers. comm. ) of The Netherlands also wrote of related experiences: I had the privilege to be surrounded by a musical family.
We had a piano in our home and I spent lots of time behind the piano in my grandmother’s house. My uncles and aunts could play the piano and as a child I enjoyed listening to them. One of my aunts was the ballet teacher in the village and from the age of four I was in her dancing classes. It was normal in my family to sing and play. My father had a good voice and was a soloist in the church choir when he was young; he played the clarinet and was a folkdance Vol. 109, No. 3, January/February 2008 5 teacher during scouting activities.
I guess my days were filled with (live) music, not in courses but just all day long. Van Gestel shared a record of family influence: In my baby dairy, when I was 8 months old, my mother wrote: “Today she clapped her hands. She probably learned that from her grandmother! When you sing Clap your hands she reacts immediately. ” One year old: “When we sing Oh my daddy (a popular song in the sixties) she sings along, ‘daddy, daddy. ’” In South Africa, apartheid led to decisions about schooling for Caroline Van Niekerk (pers. omm. ) that indirectly influenced her musical education by removing her from the direct influences of the national educational system of that time. She also spoke of a contemporary situation in which fighting governmental policies was necessary and of the strength we have to overcome questionable decisions: I had a desperate call just yesterday from someone with a story of how their education faculty, in training teachers for the Foundation Phase, wants to remove music as an optional area of specialization for students.
We are now all doing everything in our power to protest such a prospect loudly. But I have also seen what I regard as a promising development, and similar to the situation I witnessed in California when we lived there, more than twenty years ago—as parents of young children realize that the formal education system is not necessarily going to provide their children with what they believe is important, and especially as regards the arts, including music, they start to take responsibility for those things themselves. ntil I was about [age] five) could not get my lessons paid for. Had the place still be in that county I would have been entitled to a bursary to pay for lessons and I would have been able to learn a second instrument. But without that my parents could only afford piano lessons. I am still sad about this, which was simply a matter of geography and the local control of resources. Child and Music The same issues featured authors raised are apparent in the additional professionals’ responses: the lack of resources and teachers. Gary McPherson (pers. comm. links personal memories with policies, of which he sees little change, from his Australian childhood: I have a vague memory of singing in a school choir that was [led] by a general classroom teacher when I was about six or seven, but the group was nothing special so it had no impact on my subsequent musical development. . . . I went back some years ago and had a look at the way music was described in the school curriculum (particularly primary school curriculum). There were all sorts of aids and resources for general primary teachers to use but music wasn’t typically taught well in schools.
To be honest, I’m not sure the status of music in the curriculum is any different. Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 14:58 28 March 2013 These testimonies to strong and positive adult influence suggest that family education is important, as Leu and others advocate in this symposium, with the caveat that the experiences described are with adults perceived as musicians. This suggests we need to exercise caution in defining people in terms of limited musicality and that music education of our children means their children will be better educated.
It is interesting that teachers were remembered for the affective qualities they conveyed and through a curricular stance that was relevant to the child. Child and World The relationships among local, state, and global influences are also reflected in these personal accounts. Many of these music professionals took private music lessons and considered their experiences to be nonpolicy driven. Oliveira (pers. comm. ) mentioned the involvement of musicians in music education policy—specifically, the Canto Orfeonico policy under the leadership of composer Villa-Lobos.
She recalls that this policy influenced her school education, which included “group singing and elementary level music theory. ” As already discussed, group singing is a common vehicle for politicization. Like Gluschonkof’s report of Israeli songs contributing to nation-building, Boyce Tillman (pers. comm. ) noted that: At [age] seven I went to a school where we had massed singing in the Hall when we sang British folksongs, many of which I still know by heart. We had a book called the New National Song book, which was a deliberate attempt after the war to restore a sense of nationhood.
This was used throughout my school career. 6 Arts Education Policy Review Welch wrote of intersecting influences of church and state: I discovered later that the London County Council was very supportive of music in schools generally, although my local experiences as a child were as much to do with the link to the Church and the established ethos of including singing as a natural part of the school day. Ana Lucia Frega (pers. comm. ) describes a similar situation in her native Argentina. Early childhood music courses were not always taught by a specialist . . . his means that some problems arose: some of the K-general teachers [choose materials that] do not really fit the [appropriate] children range of voices, and which tend to create vocal difficulties. He notes the longevity of such a workable match: “On returning to the school many years later for my first teaching post, I discovered that the school’s policy toward music had continued, with the same range of events and activities in place. ” In the previous issue, Young discussed the unprecedented commitment England has made to the arts—specifically music, a commitment Welch reiterates.
Boyce Tillman recalls a time when the resources from the national government were in local hands, resulting in inequitable opportunity: At [age] seven I started piano lessons but because the place we lived in was then in Southampton and not in the County of Hampshire (to which we are very close and in which we had been Although our policymaking systems move slowly, and are not always moving in the direction we would like, there is hope in the growing numbers of people who care about music education. Oliviera writes: “at least we can feel the difference between my generation and today’s generation. Perhaps our aim is to prepare children who grow up to be like von Gestel, with the same rich resources at hand for creating meaningful experiences: Music (and especially making and teaching music) was and is a part of my everyday life, and really I can’t imagine a life without singing together and making music. It makes my life worth living. References Bjorkvold, J. R. 1992. The muse within: Creativity and communication, song and play from childhood through maturity. Trans. W. H. Halverson, New York: HarperCollins. Campbell, P. S. 2007. Musical meaning in children’s cultures. In International handbook of research in arts education, ed.
L. Bresler, 881–94. Dorderecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Dissanayake, E. 2000. Art and intimacy. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Littleton, D. 1998. Music learning and child’s play. General Music Today 12 (1): 8–15. Marsh, K. 1995. Children’s singing games: Composition in the playground? Research Studies in Music Education 4:2–11. Moorhead, G. E. , and D. Pond. 1941. Music of young children. 1 Chant. Santa Barbara, CA: Pillsbury Foundation for the Advancement of Music Education. Papousek, H. 1996. Musicality in infancy research: Biological and cultural origins of early musicality.
In Musical beginnings: Origins and development of musical competence, ed. I. Deliege and J. Sloboda, 37–55. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Smith, D. C. 1991. Foundations of modern Chinese education. In The Confucian continuum, ed. D. C. Smith, 1–64. New York: Praeger. Trevarthen, C. 1999. Musicality and the intrinsic motive pulse: Evidence from psychobiology and human communication. Musicae Scientiae (Special Issue: Rhythm, Musical Narrative, and Origins of Human Communication), 155–211. Lori A. Custodero is an associate professor and program coordinator of the Music
Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 14:58 28 March 2013 and Music Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she has established an early childhood music concentration that integrates pedagogy and research through both theory and practice. She served on the International Society for Music Education’s Commission for Early Childhood for six years and is involved in research and teaching projects in a variety of countries. Lily Chen-Hafteck is an associate professor of music education and assistant chair of the Music Department at Kean University, New Jersey.
Originally from Hong Kong, she has held teaching and research positions at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, the University of Surrey Roehampton in England, and Hong Kong Baptist University. She serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Music Education, Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education and Music Education Research International. She is the chair of the International Society for Music Education Young Professionals Focus Group. Vol. 109, No. 3, January/February 2008 7 ???????????????? ??????????? ??????????????? Downloaded by [Macquarie University] at 14:58 28 March 2013 ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ??? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ????????

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