Perception, description, and reflection: young children's aesthetic decision-making as critics of their own and adult compositions

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This qualitative research study seeks to examine children's aesthetic decision-making as critics of their own and adult composer's work in order to identify similarities and/or differences that exist in children's response to these two kinds of listening experiences. Drawing on the literature in aesthetics, a definition of aesthetic decision-making and an overview of relevant literature in children's aesthetic perception/response is provided, and the verbal responses of 10 grade one (7-year-old) children are described and analysed. Findings of the study suggest that there are some qualitative differences in the ways in which children respond as audience-listeners to their own compositions as opposed to those of adult composers. However, it is noted that children respond across a range of categories to both listening experiences, including: Descriptions/analyses of musical properties or structural features. Referential descriptions, Expressive descriptions, Judgements of quality. Descriptions of performance, Description of composition procedure, and Recognition. It is suggested that engagement in composition experience and subsequent reflection upon the processes and products of this experience may foster more effective music listening and assist in the development of aesthetic decision-making skills.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication18th International Society for Music Education ISME Research Seminar
PublisherUniversity of Illinois Press
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

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