Date of Award

1992

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

School

School of Education

First Advisor

John Williamson

Abstract

The pre-primary year of schooling, the first year of formal education for many children in Western Australia, has the potential to capitalize upon young children's rhythmic and auditory responsiveness and can provide a solid foundation upon which further musical understandings may be built. Music educators such as Kodaly and Orff have stressed the advantages of children's early exposure to music. (Lawrenoo, 1978, p. 108; Leak, 1985/86, p. 8). The Western Australian music syllabus "Music in Schools K-3” (1980, p. 3) highlights the significance of music education in early childhood and warms that "to neglect music at this tine may limit our children's ability to express themselves musically in later years. “ Thus it would appear advantageous for children to begin music education in their earliest years. This study investigated the distribution and quality of resources and facilities for music education in pre-primacy schools from the perspectives of the surveyed pre-primary teachers. Information gathered from the teachers interviewed could be valuable for educational planners in better resourcing current and projected pre-primary schools. The personnel responsible for music education in the pre- primary schools were examined. Explanations were sought regarding the operation of music specialist services in the respective pre-primary schools. The amount of tine allocated for music education and factors which limited children's access to music instruction were explored. McMahen (1986a, p. 45) comments on the need for professionally trained personnel with knowledge of child development to initiate programmes in music for children. This study examines the musical backgrounds and professional preparation of pre-primary teachers interviewed for the purposes of this project. Data for this study was collected using interviews with pre-primary teachers and those music specialists who operated in the pre-primary schools of 21 randomly selected government primary schools from five of the 14 educational regions in the Western Australian, Perth metropolitan area. Grouping procedures and frequency counts facilitated further analysis. Young children can benefit from fulfilling musical experiences. They will have such experiences if capable teachers using quality musical equipment and facilities are available for children in pre-primary schools.

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