Sounding lives in and through music: a narrative inquiry of the ‘everyday’ musical engagement of a young child

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There is growing interest in the study of young children's 'everyday' lives. Music engagement is central to young children's experience of the 'everyday' yet few studies have investigated the ways young children and their families engage with and use music in their daily lives. The purpose of this article is twofold: it interrogates the ways in which a young child, and his family draw on musical engagement and use in their daily life; and it provides a storied account as a means to demonstrate the uses of narrative inquiry to early childhood research. Findings identify: the parenting education role of early music programs; the function of joint music-making in the regulation of children's behaviour and emotional states; the contribution of joint and individual music-making to children's language development; the role of individual music-making in children's self-making; and the function of joint music-making in fostering family unity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-134
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Identity-work
  • Joint music-making
  • Music engagement
  • Parenting education
  • Self-making

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