Motivations, identities, and values in children’s playground musical games

Σαλτάρη Ρεγγίνα, Διονυσίου Ζωή

Προφορική Ανακοίνωση

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

There has been growing research interest in children’s musical experiences that occur outside the classroom (e.g. school playground, home, community). Playground musical games are communities of musical practice (Barrett, 2012), in which children participate voluntarily, exercise agency, and explore their identities and values. The findings from relevant studies contribute to an understanding of children’s musical-social behaviours, which enriches the music teaching-learning processes in formal contexts (cf. Harwood & Marsh, 2012).

This article is a presentation of findings from an ethnographic research on children’s musical games in Greece (Saltari & Welch, 2022). The study focused on children’s motivations for their participation in the musical games, the identities they manifest and the values they negotiate in their musical performances. The research took place in 2017 in nine primary schools in three geographical areas in Greece and lasted for 6 months. Data were collected through general observation of the total student population of each school during breaktimes and then through focused observation of children who played musical games. In the next phase of the study, children who were knowledgeable about musical games and willing to share their practices participated voluntarily in video recordings of their games and semi-structured group interviews. At this stage, participants were N=53 and were selected through the purposive sample method. The data that were collected from the observations and the interviews were analysed following the thematic approach. The video recordings were analysed following the multimodality theory (Kress, 2000) and drawing elements from previous studies with analyses of multimodal texts (Bezemer, 2014; Bishop & Burn, 2013).

The findings of this study showed that the motivations for the musical games were intrinsically linked to sociality and included the desire for collaboration, successful completion of a difficult game, determining a winner, etc. During the musical games, the participants expressed aspects of their musical-social identities as they dealt with issues of hierarchy, approval or rejection, and cooperation or conflict on the basis of peer and gender relationships. In addition, they negotiated their personal and social values maintaining or changing the text and the movements of the games. In total, children’s musical games were a means for exploration of the self, the others, and the environment.

Understanding children’s world is essential for effective teaching and learning processes in the classroom. This article advocates the necessity of designing and delivering activities in the music class which are consistent both with the substance and with the charm of the playground musical games. 

  • Ταυτότητες και ετερότητες στη μουσική και τη μουσική εκπαίδευση
  • Μουσικές εμπειρίες στο σχολείο, στο ωδείο και στην κοινότητα
  • Σύνδεση της μουσικής εκπαίδευσης με την καθημερινή ζωή
Keywords musical games; children; motivations; identities; values; performance
Language Ελληνική
Author(s) CV

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 (GSME), and the European Association for Music in Schools (EAS).

Zoe Dionyssiou is Associate Professor of Music Education at the Department of Music Studies, Ionian University, Greece. She is Director of Studies for the MA Program “Music Education in school and community” at Ionian University, and academic co-ordinator of the Ionian Summer Academy in Music Education and of the Post-graduate Training Program “Music in Early Childhood Education” (Centre for Life Long Learning, Ionian University). She coordinates a series of community music educational programs and activities organized by Ionian University (“Music Education Program for toddlers”, etc). She is co-editor of the scientific journal Musical Pedagogics (of the G.S.M.E.) and member of scientific committees in conferences and international journals. Some of her main research interests include early childhood music education, folk musics in education, interdisciplinary music and art programs, and children’s traditional singing games. Since 2012 she co-ordinates the music education performing group Aneva milo - Kateva rodi, which makes creative use of Greek musical traditions.