Music in Our Lives

Music in Our Lives : Rethinking Musical Ability, Development and Identity

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Why do some children take up music, while others dont? Why do some excel, whilst others give up? Why do some children favour classical music, whilst others prefer rock?

These are questions that have puzzled music educators, psychologists, and musicologists for many years. Yet, they are incredibly difficult and complex questions to answer.

'Music in our lives' takes an innovative approach to trying to answer these questions. It is drawn from a research project that spanned fourteen years, and closely followed the lives of over 150 children learning music - from their seventh to their twenty second birthdays.
This detailed longitudinal approach helped the authors probe a number of important issues. For example, how do you define musical skill and ability? Is it true, as many assume, that continuous engagement in performance is the sole way in which those skills can be developed? What are the consequences of trends and behaviours observed amongst the general public, and their listening consumption.

After presenting an overview and detailed case study explorations of musical lives, the book provides frameworks and theory for further investigation and discussion. It tries to present an holistic interpretation of these studies, and looks at their implications for musical development and education. Accessibly written by three leading researchers in the fields of music education and music psychology, this book makes a powerful contribution to understanding the dynamic and vital context of
music in our lives.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 262 pages
  • 158 x 236 x 15mm | 408g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199579296
  • 9780199579297
  • 335,047

Table of contents

1. Frames of reference and the origins of the study ; 2. Initial music learning and practice ; 3. Early progress in music performance ; 4. 'For how long can you expect a child to blow into a French horn?' ; 5. From childhood participation to adulthood involvement and experiences ; 6. Anthony and Alistair: a smooth progression to talent? ; 7. Lily and Bryan: exits and entrances in musical lives ; 8. A family dynamic ; 9. Tristram: Speaking about my own musical life, development and identity ; 10. Sarah: Speaking about my own musical life, development and identity ; 11. Music in our lives: A developmental explanation ; 12. Musical transactions, the power of expression and the self-regulation of musical development
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Review quote

Music in Our Lives is a pragmatic guide to liberating the inner music in everyone early in life, leaving less to chance than ever before ... this is its great contribution-not only to music education and psychology, but arguably to the whole of humanity as well. * PsycCRITIQUES, April 2013 *
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About Gary E. McPherson

Gary E. McPherson studied music education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, before completing a master of music education at Indiana University, a doctorate of philosophy at the University of Sydney and a licentiate and fellowship in trumpet performance through Trinity College, London. Before arriving in Melbourne to take up his current position as Ormond Professor and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, he worked at the University of New South
Wales (where the study was first funded), and then the Hong Kong Institute of Education and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he held the Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman endowed chair in music education. He has served as National President of the Australian Society for Music Education and
President of the International Society for Music Education and has published extensively in various books and refereed journals.

Jane W. Davidson studied musicology, classical singing, contemporary dance, education, and psychology in UK and Canada, completing several postgraduate courses including two masters degrees and a PhD. She worked for thirteen years at the University of Sheffield, before taking up the inaugural Callaway/Tunley Chair of Music at the University of Western Australia in 2006. Her research includes projects on reflective performance practice, vocal production, musical expression and emotion,
expressive body movement in performance, musical skills acquisition and therapeutic uses of music. She has published widely, is the former editor of Psychology of Music (1997-2001), was vice-president of European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (2003-2006), and is the current president of the
Musicological Society of Australia. She is Deputy Director of the new Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of the Emotions.

Robert Faulkner is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds a licentiate in singing teaching from the same institution. He went on to postgraduate music education studies at Reading University and later completed an MA in music psychology and a PhD from the University of Sheffield. He lived in Iceland for over twenty years, where he worked at all levels of education from early childhood to tertiary, played a leading role in national curriculum development and was inaugural
deputy chair of the Iceland Music Examinations Board. He was the postdoctoral research associate on the ARC DP0770257 (2007-2010), the topic of the current book, and is now Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education and the School of Music at the University of Western
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