Musical and Textual Content in Children’s Vocalizations
AbstractChildren around the world interact with music. They sing, chant, dance, and clap as part of their daily lives. From the shortest musical utterances, to full songs, singing is present wherever children are found. The myriad ways of learning to sing informally go beyond the direct influences and efforts of teachers and other adults, and involve vocalizations across a spectrum of genres that include singing/songs, chanting/chants and musical babble/utterances. In this lecture-demonstration, a comparison of children’s informal and formal singing culture will be explored. While there is extensive research regarding teaching children to sing, and the developing child’s voice as it relates to school and ensemble music, the field of children’s informal singing has been slowly developing. A comprehensive review of the relevant scholarship from within the disciplines of music education, music pedagogy, ethnomusicology, communications, folklore (as well as anthropology, sociology, and psychology) in the field of children’s informal singing behaviors with attention to the nature of their songs, singing engagements, and the process of song acquisition and transmission will be discussed. Particular focus will be given to cross-cultural examination of children’s interactions with singing as it presents in several different countries.