Spontaneous Singing and Musical Agency in the Everyday Home Lives of Three- and Four-Year-Old Children

  • Bronya Dean
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 27)


Spontaneous singing permeates the lives of young children and can provide insights into the social and personal worlds of young children at home. Research into young children’s singing has traditionally been dominated by studies framed by developmental perspectives. However, developmental approaches run the risk of overlooking the ways in which spontaneous singing is useful and meaningful to young children. Despite increased interest in the musical lives of young children, there exists very little research into young children’s musical lives at home, largely because the home can be a difficult space to access for research purposes. This chapter is based on research undertaken from audio recordings of 15 3- and 4-year-old children who were recorded for continuous periods at home using all-day recording technology. I draw on ideas from music sociology and childhood studies to illustrate how children use singing as a tool of agency in their interactions with others and to manage their own experience.


Children’s spontaneous singing Children’s music at home Agency Singing and identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bronya Dean
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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