Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children's Lives

Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children's Lives

Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children's Lives

Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children's Lives

Synopsis

This book explores the musical interest and needs of children in their daily lives. Based upon their expressed thoughts and actual `musicking' behaviours, this text examines the songs they sing, the rythyms they make, and the roles that music plays for them. Blending standard education field experiences with ethnographic techniques, Dr. Campbell demonstrates how music is personally and socially meaningful to children and what values they place on particular musical styles, songs, and functions. He explores musical behaviours in various contextual settings, and presents in notated and narrative forms some of the `songs in their heads', balancing music learned with music `made', and intentional, purposeful music with natural musical behaviour. Songs in Their Heads is a vivid and engaging book that bridges the disciplines of music education, musicology, ethnomusicology, and folklore. Designed as a text or supplemental text in a variety of music education method courses, as well as a reference for music specialists and classroom teachers, this book will also appeal to parents interested in understanding and enhancing music making in their children.

Excerpt

I found this a fascinating book. It is about the musical culture of children. It contributes to the understanding of music education, but perhaps more properly, of musical education in the sense that it goes well beyond the concerns of formal schooling and into issues of the way in which music is transmitted, how learning takes place within the fundamental concepts and values of culture. Most important, it is an "anthropology of children's music." Following in the footsteps of John Blacking--who arguably first made the case that children are not simply musical embryos waiting to become musical adults but have a musical culture of their own, with its own musical and social rules, and with functions such as integration of person and expression of ethnicity--Patricia Campbell paints a picture of the musical culture of American children.

Using the methods of musical ethnography developed by ethnomusicologists, the first two sections of Songs in Their Heads present the author as participant- observer: first as the careful describer of children's uses of music as they play, and then as the initiator of conversations in which children reveal their ideas about music. These children, American but from a great variety of ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, turn out to be amazingly sophisticated and thoughtful in their understanding of music as sound and as culture. Presented in a lively and colorful way, they are the heroes of this book.

Alternating with the pure though engagingly written observations, Campbell comments and reflects on what she observes, referring frequently to a large body of literature from education, systematic musicology, anthropology, and particularly ethnomusicology, making comparisons with African, Asian, Australian, and other . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.