Music at Their Finger-Tips: Musical Experiences via Touchscreen Technologies in the Everyday Home Lives of Young Children

  • Susan Young
  • Yen-Ting Wu
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 27)


The arrival of new technologies and digitised media into family life, and how they intersect with contemporary changes in both childhood and parenting culture have resulted in a marked change in the nature of home-based musical experiences for very young children. From recent general surveys of digital technology use in everyday life among young children carried out in various post-industrial countries in Europe, North America and East Asia a consistent picture is emerging of widespread use and at younger ages. This recent change, both in the extent of use and the reduction in age to infants and toddlers, has occurred with the arrival of touchscreen tablets and smartphones. However, while young children’s lives are starting to be permeated with accessible digital technologies in a way that is unprecedented, there is still very little knowledge about their actual use in routine, everyday life and even less about how that use may impact on children’s musical experiences. In this chapter we first scan the surveys of digital use among young children for information about general patterns that have relevance to a music focus. We then turn to some case studies of three young girls from the Chinese diaspora living in London that reveal musical activities in everyday life enabled by touchscreen devices. Finally we consider how the expansion and diversification of musical activity in everyday life that digital technologies enable hold important implications both for revising concepts of musical development and for the design of educational practices.


Touchscreen technologies Music at home Chinese diaspora 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Young
    • 1
  • Yen-Ting Wu
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Music Research GroupUniversity of RoehamptonLondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of EducationUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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