Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

School of Music

First Advisor

Wendy Valerio

Abstract

To gain understanding regarding early childhood music repertoire selection, the purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine young children’s music behaviors demonstrated in response to their favorite-music repertoire and other-music repertoire performed in informal early childhood music classes. My guiding research questions were (a) what was the favorite-music repertoire of young children, and (b) what did parents, Alli (an early childhood music teacher), Kat (an early childhood music teacher), and I notice about behaviors young children demonstrated during performances of their favorite-music repertoire and other-music repertoire during our informal music classes?

I purposefully sampled three young children and asked their parents, my coteacher and another early childhood music teacher to participate as observers. I participated as a complete participant observer. My co-teacher and I facilitated 10 weeks of Music Play classes based on Gordon’s (2013) Music Learning Theory for Newborn and Young Children and Valerio, Reynolds, Taggart, Bolton, & Gordon’s (1998) Music Play. I gathered data from parent questionnaires, video-recorded Music Play classes, written observations and reflections, audio-recorded individual think-aloud interviews. I transcribed all data for subsequent analysis. I coded that data and created a taxonomic analysis to organize cultural domains.

Three themes emerged. Young children repeatedly demonstrated specific patterns from their favorite-music repertoire. Young children demonstrated related behaviors during favorite music and other music. Young children demonstrated unrelated behaviors during favorite music and other music. I provide preliminary definitions and thick, rich descriptions of the behaviors young children demonstrated during favorite-music repertoire and other-music repertoire. Though I may not make generalizations based on this study, childhood music teachers may consider selecting young children’s favoritemusic repertoire to elicit young children’s rhythm pattern behaviors and tonal pattern behaviors that may provide the basis for increased young children’s rhythm pattern and tonal pattern vocabulary development and learning or to engage young children’s positive emotions during music classes.

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