Commentary: Music Learning and Teaching in Infancy and Early Childhood

Margaret S. Barrett

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730810
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Commentary: Music Learning and Teaching in Infancy and Early Childhood

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This article, which presents an overview by exploring the characteristic features of a range of musical beginnings and the possibilities for learning that are evidenced, demonstrates that much of young children's early music-making is improvised in the moment as a means to communicate with others and self. Such communications, from responses and exchanges in “motherese” or “parentese” to young children's independent invented song-making, may be regarded as the first “oral tradition.” Oral traditions draw on the power of repetition and the human urge to generate and create. Their musical outputs feature elaboration and ideational fluency as well as the acknowledgment of the musical cultures from which the tradition arises.

Keywords: musical beginnings; children; music-making; oral traditions

Article.  652 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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