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Praxial Music EducationReflections and Dialogues$
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David J Elliott

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385076.001.0001

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Critical Matters in Early Childhood Music Education

Critical Matters in Early Childhood Music Education

(p.249) 13 Critical Matters in Early Childhood Music Education
Praxial Music Education

David J. Elliott

Oxford University Press

Musicality is an inherited biological predisposition that is unique to the human species. This chapter argues that music learning (whether structured or informal) happens very early, and long before we used to believe, and that it takes place as a result of children's innate propensity for learning. Indeed, children's spontaneous music making, from the first mother-infant musical interactions to playground rhymes and jeers, is the springboard of music learning. However, the contexts in which early musical experiences occur are critical, and adult interventions require balancing challenge and skill to achieve musical focus and self-growth in young children, as David Elliott suggests teachers should do at all ages. This chapter examines children's musical understanding, memory, and spontaneity, early childhood music education and its relation to Elliott's praxial philosophy, musical experiences based on context, “flow” in early childhood music experiences, multiculturalism in early childhood music education, music making and music listening in early childhood, and musical creativity in children.

Keywords:   early childhood music education, musicality, music learning, music making, context, multiculturalism, musical understanding, musical experiences

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