Children's aesthetic decision-making: an analysis of children's musical discourse as composers

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In this study I promote a view of children's aesthetic decision-making as a non-verbal process evidenced in the structural features children employ in their musical discourse as composers. I draw on the work of Polanyi and Wittgenstein to support the view that knowledge may be demonstrated as well as 'stated' verbally, and that the examination of children's musical discourse as composers provides us with direct access to their musical thinking and aesthetic decision-making. Through the analysis of the form and structure of one hundred and thirty-seven compositions collected from children aged between five and twelve years children's aesthetic decision-making is identified and described. Findings of the study suggest that children's aesthetic decision-making as demonstrated in their use of structure and form in their musical discourse as composers is not necessarily linked to age or prior experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-62
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Music Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

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