Title page for ETD etd-06282012-152606

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alexander, Alison Elaine
URN etd-06282012-152606
Title A Study of Children's Musical Play at the Little Gym
Degree Master of Music (M.M.)
Department Music
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bartolome, Sarah Jane Committee Chair
Byo, James L Committee Member
Orman, Evelyn Committee Member
  • music education
  • music teaching and learning
  • early childhood music
Date of Defense 2012-05-18
Availability unrestricted
The purpose of this study was to examine the ways music is used in classes at the Little Gym. It also attempted to uncover the benefits of the use of music in the classes as identified by the participants. This investigation of music at the Little Gym required the use of standard qualitative data collection strategies performed over the course of four months of fieldwork. Approximately sixty hours of observations were completed, both as an observer and a participant observer, and twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents and teachers. Data analysis entailed transcribing and coding interviews, examining observations field notes, and reviewing the Little Gym website and class brochures. Emergent themes included the use of music to facilitate transitions, give instructions, and enhance creativity and imagination among students. Further, the benefits of music in the classroom included helping children focus, creating a positive distraction for the students, and providing music education benefits. Music educators and classroom teachers working with early childhood teachers working with early childhood learners might apply these findings in their classrooms, introducing elements of musical play into lessons, using music to facilitate transitions and give directions, and providing opportunities for children to enjoy positive experiences with music.
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