“Swifts”: A musical theatre play in the context of Acoustic Ecology and its effects on the emerging ecological self

Ετμεκτσόγλου Ιωάννα, Σαλτάρη Ρεγγίνα, Ελένη Κοκκινομηλιώτη, Ευθυμίου Σπυριδούλα

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

Session Η μουσική στην κοινότητα ( Saturday, 16-Apr-22 10:30:00 EEST )

The unfolding ecological crisis highlights the need for an education that creates the conditions for the development of an ecological self, which includes identifications with human species as well as with nature (Naess, 1989). In the context of Acoustic Ecology, when an animal becomes the main character in a musical theatre play, opportunities are created for deeper knowledge of its species, its relationship with humans, as well as its special role in the soundscape and the ecosystem. The knowledge that is embedded in a story and is invested with emotion is firmly encoded in the viewer-listener’s memory. Thus, it is very likely that it remains accessible in the long-term memory for a long time (Phelps, 2004). During the preparation as well as the performance of such a musical play, individuals and groups from various community systems are involved (e.g. school, family, theatre, university, recording studio) and interact with each other (Bronfenbrenner, 1997). On this basis of reflection, elements of the musical play are potentially transferred outside the theatre venue and contribute to the formation of the ecological self of individuals from the present and ‘absent’ audience.

This study aims to explore the long-term effects of the musical play ‘Swifts’ (Stachtares) on young children, teachers, parents and creators-performers. The play was performed by the Children's Stage of the Municipal Theater of Corfu in 2019 indoors and in 2020 outdoors. The characters of the story are the swifts (Apus apus) and a retired biologist, Grandpa Apus. The birds and the man of the story share, among other things, the ‘disability’ of their legs and the exclusion they face from human society. The music theatre performance ‘Swifts’ inspired a case study about its possible effects on the development of the ecological self. The research is under development and its purpose is to investigate the following research questions with regard to the audience and the creators-performers of the show: a) what is the content and types of long-term memory that have remained active since the performance (e.g., cognitive, musical, kinetic, emotional, social memory)? b) what are the changes in the ecological self, if any of these were perceived by the participants (e.g., unconditional acceptance, empathy, identifications beyond the human species (Kuhn, 2001))? The research sample is based on convenience and consists of the children who attended the show one and a half years ago, their teachers and parents, as well as the creators-performers of the show. The questions will be explored through the method of ‘Learning Snapshots’ (Hunt and Rawlins, 2016) which has been adapted accordingly. The parents will be provided with a small number of photographs of children as audience of the performance and during their participation in related educational activities. It is expected that the photographs will trigger a discussion between them which will be reported in written notes by the parents. Additional data collection methods include pilot one-to-one interviews, a focus group with the teachers and parents, and a focus group with the creators-performers.

This study is not an evaluation of the musical theatre performance. The aim is to explore the potential of this multimodal, social, and educational tool as a means of developing children’s and adults’ ecological self so that nature protection emerges as a genuine internal need.

  • Πολύτεχνες παραστάσεις στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Ταυτότητες και ετερότητες στη μουσική και τη μουσική εκπαίδευση
  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
Keywords ecological self; music theatre performance; learning snapshots; Apus apus; Swifts
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

Ioanna Etmektsoglou studied at the University of Illinois, USA (BA, MA in Music Pedagogy, and PhD in Music Psychology with specialty in Education, 1992). She trained as a Music Therapist in Anglia Ruskin University, UK (MA, 2007). She has been teaching Music Psychology, Music Pedagogy, and Introduction to Music Therapy courses at the Department of Music Studies at Ionian University since 1995. She experiments with discovery-based teaching approaches and links music education with the community and nature settings, aiming to enhance children’s and adults’ creativity and environmental awareness.

Regina Saltari teaches at the English Department of the Master’s Programme of Music Education at the European University of Cyprus (EUC). She holds a PhD from the Music Department of Ionian University, Greece, and a Master of Arts in Music Education (UCL Institute of Education). Her doctoral thesis was an ethnographic research and explored children’s musical games in school playgrounds in Greece. Her academic-research interests are informal music learning practices, children’s and young people’s musical identities, and ethnography as research methodology in music education. She has worked as a music educator, violin tutor and English teacher in schools in Greece and London. She is a member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME), the Greek Society for Music Education (EEME), and the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS).

Lena Kokkinomilioti graduated from the Ionian University, Department of Music Studies (BA, PhD). In 2008 she started working for the Ionian University, teaching Music Psychology & Music Education courses. Since 2001, she has been a music teacher in preschool, primary, secondary and special needs education settings as well as in music schools. She has participated in the project “NEW SCHOOL” (Institute of Educational Policy), writing the Curriculum for Music & Arts Schools. As a Continuing Education Specialist she has been invited to conduct seminars designed to raise young people’s awareness regarding environmental issues in the context of Acoustic Ecology. She took part in the creation and production of the book “Kratisou Pano Mou”, a music tale by Don Echotes.

Spyridoula Efthymiou holds a PhD from the Department of Music Studies at the Ionian University of Corfu, where she also completed her BA studies in Music Education. She is a graduate of the Μaster’s degree programme ‘Education Studies’ at the Greek Open University and has specialised in Adult Education. Her research interests are Music Pedagogy, Music in Preschool and Early-school age Education, and Adult Music Education. She has been working as a music teacher in Primary Education since 2004.