Musikskap : Musikstunders didaktik i förskolepraktiker
Sammanfattning: The ambition in this thesis is to try out an alternative language for music didaktik relations during music activity in preschool settings. The aim of the study is to describe and to analyze the didaktiks in music activity in preschool settings. The aim of the study is also on research basis to try out concepts that denote and capture the figuration of music activity. The overall research question is as follows:•What characterizes music activities and their possible figuration in preschool practices?”Possible figuration” refers to an interwoven presentation, a didaktik concept that describes transforming the significance of music activity. A weave of empirical and theoretical threads of references includes the answers to the following three subqueries:•What appears to be the focused content of music activity?•How is music activity staged?•How do children, teachers and music (in itself) act in music activity?As a theoretical resource, variuos concepts are tried within the frame of music didactics (Nielsen, 2006), education theory (Klafki, 2005) and the theory of musicking (Small, 2008). In the music activity the music phenomenon is understood as an object (Reimer, 2003), as action (Elliott, 2005; Small, 1998), and as something that takes place between the subject and the object (Nielsen, 2006). These three aspects of music stand in relation to the abductive method of analysis: they are relevant in generating an informative analysis (Alvesson & Sköldberg, 2008) and to thereby show the complexity of music activity. The empirical material was generated by video observation one day a week for eight months at three anonymized preschools (in the study, called: Havsvågen, Solstrålen and Trädet) in southern Sweden. The observations generated 46 video excerpts depicting music activity. According to my interpretation of focused content of a music activity usually concerns learning in and with music rather than about and through music. The content of a music activity appears to be both linear, with tradition as the main selection criterion, and non-linear, i.e., spontaneous, explored, and improvised in the moment. Some basic elements of music are processed and the music activity seems to move between material and formal education theory. The teachers sometimes focus on music as an object and, sometimes on the children, but music activity in which the teachers focus on the interaction between music and children, in line with categorical theory, is less often observed; this makes music activity appear sporadic and fragmentary. Staging music activity partly concerns spatial staging, and partly concerns actions in relation to a reproductive or an exploratory/productive function. The activity is characterized by sitting in a circle. In music activity in which movement emphasized the sitting and the circle are dispersed. Staging music activity involves how the activity starts and ends, as well as how each constituent action of the activity starts. In the initiation of the music activity, spoken instructions dominate. The music can also be a start-up and a closer. The constituent actions of the music activity can be grouped into listening, singing, moving and playing instruments, which can be related to their functions as reproductive or as exploratory/productive. Singing is mostly reproductive in character, playing instruments is mostly exploratory/productive, and moving is equally reproductive and exploratory/productive.The third and last question addressed in the study concerns the actors in the music activity. To make actions visible I have traced the actors or, as I call them, players. The players, i.e., the children, teachers, and music, can be interpreted as taking different forms of action. They can be front-players, soloists taking the initiative and influencing the music activity through their actions. They can be fellow players who take part in the music activity, but follow through rather than chape the content. They can also be co-players who shape the music activity, transforming it into interaction. The last type of player is the antagonist, who creates dissonance between child-teacher, music-teacher or music-child. In the thesis research, the concept of musicship appears and is tested, being constructed as a resource for reflecting on music activity. The musicship concept, gradually came to play more noticeable and nuanced. Musicship, in which music is a link in an interwoven process, can in this context say something about what is happening in music activity as figuration. Musicship has three tracks that sometimes cross each other and sometimes merge. The concept is also affected by a more general view of what music is made to be and what teachers emphasize, such as the music itself, the child/process, or the interaction between child and music. These three tracks focus on the content, staging, and actions of the music activity. They invite critical and creative reflection on music activity in preschool settings and in music-related processes. The content track concerns learning in, about, with, and through music. The staging track concerns procedure, the process of the activity with its functions and consistuent actions. The action track concerns how not only the children and teachers are actors, but also the music. The concept of musicship concentrates on:•content as movement between the linear and non-linear direction, content as object, and content as direction in movement, unestablished content, and shifting goals;•staging in which the actions constituting the activity (e.g., singing, moving, and playing) vary and interact with its underlying reproductive or exploratory/productive function; and•action in movement in which children, teachers, and the music can act as different types of players: front-players, fellow players, co-players, and antagonists. Musicship can be seen as: something that opens up for critically and possibly also a creative relation to a music activity, based on process and constantly being recreated as a form of music-related configuration; the merging of freeing and directing relations within a network; and a concept moving between the actual and the possible, facilitating the analysis and understanding of music activity.
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