Musicking in Chinese early childhood education: An ecological study of children’s music education in select Shandong kindergartens
This research investigates musicking in Chinese early childhood education. Musicking is defined as the action and process of music activity and its meaning. An ecological approach is applied to children’s music education in selected Shandong kindergartens, focusing on the following key questions: (i) How does musicking occur throughout the day in kindergartens? (ii) What factors influence musicking in these kindergartens? (iii) What are the differences in musicking between public and private kindergartens? This project was carried out in twelve kindergartens, of which six were public and six were private. Three data collection methods were utilised: participant and non-participant observation of all activities; semi-structured interviews with teachers; and questionnaires with children’s parents. The results of the study are reviewed within the framework of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system, examining musicking of both teachers and children in kindergartens from micro to macro and chrono perspectives. The research demonstrates that music occurs in kindergartens within three categories: (i) organised music sessions; (ii) socially functional musicking; and (iii) background music. The study also reveals influencing factors on this music including teachers’ spaces, children’s families, and policy, culture, and digital technology. The overall findings show that there is no significant difference in children’s music education between public kindergartens, but there is much more diversity between private kindergartens. The implications of the research findings reveal that there are some challenges in Chinese early childhood music education, and the thesis suggests changes that could be made to make improvements.
Advisor: Johnson, Henry; Gaffney, Michael
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: School of Performing Arts
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: music education; early childhood; Bronfenbrenner's ecological model
Research Type: Thesis