What the body knows about teaching music:

The specialist preschool music teacher's pedagogical content knowing regarding teaching and learning rhythm skills viewed from an embodied cognition perspective 

This thesis presents an investigation into the pedagogical content knowing (PCKg) of Dutch experienced specialist preschool music teachers with regard to teaching and learning rhythm skills viewed from an embodied cognition perspective. An embodied cognition perspective stresses the intimate relationship between body, mind and environment.

In a multiple case study the research methods - stimulated recall interviews, gesture analysis tasks, physical action analysis tasks, notebooks and semi-structured interviews - were used to elicit the PCKg of six specialist preschool music teachers regarding rhythm skills. The data of these different methods were inductively analysed but sensitising concepts derived from the literature review on PCKg were also used in the analysis. Furthermore, the data were triangulated to gain a comprehensive understanding of the participants’ PCKg.

As for the nature of the specialist preschool music teachers’ PCKg regarding rhythm skills the findings illustrated that PCKg is distributed over language, sound, gestures, body positioning and physical actions. Respecting the content of PCKg a new form of (non-verbal) knowledge was explored: 'musical communication and musical interaction' that facilitates the learning of rhythm skills of preschoolers.

The study is first of all significant for offering a new perspective on the nature of the specialist preschool music teachers’ PCKg: a multimodal and dynamic way of knowing that emerges from the interrelated role between the social, cultural and physical classroom environment, the teaching task and the teacher’s body. Beyond the classroom, these teachers’ bodies form a source for recalling, re-enacting and eliciting classroom experiences to develop and communicate their PCKg. Secondly, it offers a new perspective on the content of the specialist preschool music teachers’ PCKg: these teachers’ bodies take on different roles to mediate the preschoolers’ learning process regarding rhythm skills. These findings have implications for further research, teacher education, practice and policy.

Melissa Bremmer

Melissa Bremmer voltooide de studie Docent Muziek (cum laude) aan het Conservatorium van Amsterdam en de studie Onderwijskunde (cum laude) aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam met als specialisatie intercultureel onderwijs. Zij werkt momenteel als onderwijskundige aan de bacheloropleiding Docent Muziek en aan de masteropleiding Kunsteducatie, beide onderdeel van de Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Van 2011-2015 deed zij promotieonderzoek bij het lectoraat Kunst- en cultuureducatie van de AHK naar de ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ van vakleerkrachten muziek die lesgeven aan kleuters.

Projectinformatie

Projectperiode: 2011-2015

Dr. Susan Young, Early Childhood Music en Dr. Ros Fisher, Associate Professor Language and Literacy Education, University of Exeter (UK).

2015 ‘What the body knows about teaching music: The specialist preschool music teacher’s pedagogical content knowing regarding teaching and learning rhythm skills viewed from an embodied cognition perspective’ PhD diss., University of Exeter.  

2015 ‘The role of the teacher’s body in music education: Pedagogical content knowledge viewed from an embodied cognition perspective’. In: S. Schonmann (Ed.), International Yearbook for Research in Arts Education, Vol. 3 (pp. 48-53). Münster, Germany: Waxmann.

2011 [Met E. Schopman] De improvisatieles: Wat, hoe en waarom zo? Amsterdam: Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Lectoraat Kunst- en Cultuureducatie en Arnhem: ArtEZ, Lectoraat Kunsteducatie (PDF).

2011 [Met E. van Hoek, E. Schopman en A. Vervoorn] Onderzoek naar muziek in het voortgezet onderwijs. Amsterdam: Lectoraat Kunst- en cultuureducatie & Het Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Kunst.

2010 ‘Leren improviseren’. In: C. Koopman, & V. Meeuwis  (Red.), Alle registers open: nieuwe ontwikkelingen in onderzoek naar muziekeducatie (Cultuur + Educatie 28/10). Utrecht: Cultuurnetwerk Nederland.   

2009 [Met A. Huisingh] Music is when sounds come together nicely: Researching pre-school music education that is based on the image of the competent child. Bologna: Bologna University Press PDF.

2006 Amuze Muziek Scan Primair Onderwijs. Amsterdam: Amuze (PDF).

2005 Nootzaak! Amsterdam: Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Lectoraat Kunst- en cultuureducatie (PDF).

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