Young children's constructions of the musical knowledgeable other

Peter Whiteman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Contemporary views of children and childhood position children as valued coconstructors of their cultures, supporting the notion that learning and development are bound to a social context. Through this lens, scaffolding can be seen broadly as a collection of techniques employed by a knowledgeable other to assist a novice to internalize cultural signs. This paper reports images of the knowledgeable other constructed by a group of preschool-aged children engaged in spontaneous singing. Video-recordings of eight children singing during free-play over a period of 3 years were transcribed, and the songs and accompanying play episodes were analyzed using QSR NUDIST software. Results revealed the children constructed a range of images of the knowledgeable other, employing a variety of techniques to define this role. Cultural experience did not seem to rely strongly on chronological age, with younger children often viewed ill the role of the knowledgeable other.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiverse methodologies in the study of music teaching and learning
EditorsLK Thompson, MR Campbell
Place of PublicationCharlotte, North Carolina
PublisherInformation Age Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781593116293
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameAdvances in Music Education Research

Cite this

Whiteman, P. (2008). Young children's constructions of the musical knowledgeable other. In LK. Thompson, & MR. Campbell (Eds.), Diverse methodologies in the study of music teaching and learning (pp. 25-43). (Advances in Music Education Research). Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing.