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Title: Musical development of young children of the Chinese diaspora in London
Author: Wu, Yen-Ting
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The thesis investigates the musical behaviour and development of young, pre-school children of the Chinese diaspora in London. There has been rapid growth in the Chinese population in the UK over the last three decades, yet little is known about of the nature and significance of the diaspora in young children’s musical development. Two theoretical frameworks were used to frame the nature of the research. Firstly, pre-school musical behaviour in the home was investigated through the Sounds of Intent in the Early Years framework (Ockelford, 2015; Voyajolu & Ockelford, 2016). Secondly, different aspects of the young child’s socio-musical environment were examined using Ecological Systems Theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979; 2005). Data collection involved two interrelated phases. In the exploratory stage, twenty Chinese mothers were interviewed individually to investigate their musical biographies and values, and their children’s musical engagement in the family. In the main fieldwork phase, ten of these mothers kept a regular diary of their children’s musical behaviours over six months, supplemented by optional video recordings and photographs. Two further interviews were also undertaken. Subsequently, four individual children from three families were selected for case study analyses, and these were compared with the dataset of the other participants to gain a comprehensive picture. Findings suggest that these young children’s musical development was both age-related and context-dependent. Potential socio-cultural factors included the local environment, members of the family and their community settings, which were embedded in various cultural impacts. The Chinese identity held by these families informed daily music and language exposure for these young children. In addition, parents believed in the value of music learning as a way to nurture good character. Novel findings from this study highlighted the distinctive nature of these young children’s musical experiences and development within the Chinese diaspora in London and raised awareness of the diverse nature of the musical environment of children before formal education. Musical behaviours were both characteristic of early childhood, but also distinctive in the ways that they were embedded in Chinese cultural artefacts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available