International Journal of Early Childhood

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 277–290

Music Experience in Early Childhood: Potential for Emotion Knowledge?

Original Article

Abstract

Most cultures carry an idea of music being connected to emotion. New research suggests that we may also acquire emotion knowledge from our music experiences. This article investigates music experience as a mediating tool for emotion knowledge in early childhood, as revealed through qualitative interviews of adults. The interviewees describe music experiences from their early childhood or adult experiences together with young children. They also reflect upon the experiences, relating them to emotion knowledge and early childhood learning cultures. Thus, the article has a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach, and the analysis is mainly a content analysis. The results are discussed in relation to learning and learning cultures, but also in relation to music therapy and emotion psychology. The article reveals implications for early childhood learning cultures in pointing towards the importance of the relationship between caregiver and child, and of music as a mediating tool for emotion availability and interaction.

Keywords

Music experience Emotion knowledge Early childhood Learning cultures Education Interviews 

Résumé

La plupart des cultures relaient l’idée que la musique est liée à l’émotion. De nouvelles recherches suggèrent que notre savoir émotionnel pourrait aussi s’acquérir à partir de nos expériences musicales. Cet article explore l’expérience musicale en tant qu’outil de médiation du savoir émotionnel dans la petite enfance, à travers des entretiens qualitatifs réalisés auprès d’adultes. Les personnes interrogées décrivent leurs expériences musicales en tant qu’enfants, ou en tant qu’adultes avec de jeunes enfants. Ces personnes font aussi part de leurs réflexions sur ces expériences, en relation avec le savoir émotionnel et les cultures d’apprentissage enfantines. De fait, cet article adopte une approche phénoménologico-herméneutique et l’analyse est principalement une analyse de contenu. Les résultats sont examinés en relation à l’apprentissage et aux cultures de l’apprentissage, mais aussi à la musicothérapie et à la psychologie des émotions. Cet article révèle ainsi une série d’implications pour les cultures de l’apprentissage infantiles, soulignant à la fois l’importance de la relation entre l’enfant et les personnes qui s’en occupent et le rôle de la musique en tant qu’outil médiateur pour la disponibilité et les interactions émotionnelles.

Resumen

En la mayoría de las culturas se mantiene la idea de que la música está conectada a la emoción. Nuevas investigaciones sugieren que también podemos adquirir conocimiento emocional desde nuestras experiencias musicales. Este artículo investiga la experiencia musical como una herramienta de mediación para el conocimiento emocional en la infancia temprana, como se reveló a través de entrevistas cualitativas con adultos. Estas entrevistas describen las experiencias musicales desde sus experiencias de infancia temprana o como adultos, junto con los niños pequeños. También se reflejan a través de las experiencias, relacionándolas a un conocimiento emocional y a culturas de aprendizaje de infancia temprana. Así, el artículo tiene un acercamiento hermenéutico-fenomenológico, y el análisis es en su mayoría un análisis de contenidos. El resultado es discutido en relación al aprendizaje y a las culturas de aprendizaje, pero también en relación a la terapia musical y la psicología emocional. El artículo reveló implicancias en las culturas de aprendizaje de la infancia temprana, apuntando hacia la importancia de la relación entre el cuidador y el niño, y de la música como una herramienta de mediación para la apertura emocional y la interacción.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Early Childhood EducationUniversity of StavangerStavangerNorway

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