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Musical Movement Responses in Early Childhood Music Education Practice in the Netherlands

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MERYC Researching Different Approaches to Music Education Practice with Young Children Conference 4-5 April 2005 at The university of Exeter, UK.

Musical Movement Responses in Early Childhood Music Education Practice in The Netherlands.
José Retra: University of Exeter 7 January 2005

Abstract An investigation of movement responses in the Dutch Preschool Music Education environment, currently in progress, may reveal developmental aspects of movement responses to music of children aged 18 to 36 months. A preliminary framework for movement responses to music has been constructed, taking into consideration the usefulness of movement as a tool to understand, store and retrieve music from memory in an educational setting.

Introduction In order to bring back singing into children's homes, Preschool Music Education - the Dutch name for early childhood music education - created special courses for children aged 4 months to 4 years. The Preschool Music Education (PME) courses have evolved from expert pedagogical practice over many years, but have not, so far, been subject to any kind of formal research. This paper describes research, presently in progress, investigating movement responses to music of children aged 18 to 36 months in the PME environment. Taylor (1989) remarked that “in music lessons with young children movement is often taken for granted ”. Fortunately movement responses to music by preschool children are increasingly becoming the subject of research. However, in-depth understanding, of the movement responses of preschool children is still in need of specific knowledge. Movement responses to music Movement to music is used in PME to provide children with a useful tool to understand and sense the music through bodily movement. The songs presented in a lesson are virtually always accompanied by a motor action. “The movements make visual and real, in a time/space architecture, in patterns on the floor, and in interaction with others, what is otherwise...

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