Creative Meaning-Making in Infants’ and Young Children's Musical Cultures

Margaret S. Barrett and Johannella Tafuri

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Creative Meaning-Making in Infants’ and Young Children's Musical Cultures

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  • Music Education and Pedagogy



Well before the infant can grasp the materials of art-making in order to make an original impression, he/she has been engaged in creative music-making for some considerable time. What do we know of this early creativity in music? How is it manifested? What are its characteristic features and forms? What role does this early activity play in children's development? How might children's early creative work be supported and extended? As teachers and early childhood educators, how might we draw on this rich resource of music engagement in developing further children's musical understanding and skills? This article explores these questions by focusing on the creative meaning-making of children from birth to early schooling (age 0–5 years). It examines the ways young children engage in creative music activity in family and community settings, individually, socially, institutionally, and culturally, and considers the implications of this engagement for their music learning.

Keywords: music making; music education; music activity; music learning

Article.  7886 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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