Extending Young Children’s Artistic Enfranchisement Through Computer-based Music Technology

By Janet McDowall.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recent development of ‘child-friendly’ computer software and hardware has expanded young children’s potential for participation in music experiences. These developments include opportunities for children to be actively engaged in relatively sophisticated musical composition processes involving decision-making associated with a wide range of musical elements –tone colour, rhythm, tempo, form, and so on. This paper describes a research study in which children in the early years of school used several types of computer software and hardware to create music and to perform it for various audiences. The paper argues that early childhood music curriculum experiences such as these can expand young children’s artistic enfranchisement since children can, to some extent, overcome the barriers of limited musical technical skills and they can use a range of sounds that are generally far beyond the scope of traditional classroom music resources. Young children can, thus, be active participants in musical cultures that are somewhat different from those normally associated with early childhood music teaching and learning.

Keywords: Children, Music, Technology

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.125-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.255MB).

Dr. Janet McDowall

Lecturer, School of Education, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Janet McDowall is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of South Australia where she teaches arts education courses in early childhood teacher education programs. Her main area of interest is early childhood music education. Her current research interests focus on young children’s use of computer-based music technology, particularly in school environments.


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