How do Early Childhood Educators’ Preprofessional Music Experiences Shape their Practices with Young Children: An Interpretive Phenomenology Study




Varga, Veronika

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Music activities and free musical play have significant developmental, social, and emotional benefits for young children. Early childhood educators can play an important role in integrating music-related activities into children’s everyday lives. This study explored the music experiences of early childhood educators in British Columbia (BC) before they become educators. Using an interpretive phenomenological approach (IPA), this study sought to address the following research question: How do early childhood educators’ pre-professional music learning and pedagogical experiences influence their use of music in their practices with young children in formalized childcare settings? In this exploratory study, I conducted semi-structured and in-depth interviews with six early childhood educators who had studied early childhood education (ECE) in BC, worked in the Greater Victoria area, and had music-related experiences before and during their post-secondary studies. I identified the following three main themes in the data: (a) Sense of Belonging; (b) Repeating and Performing, and (c) Growing by Doing. These themes highlight further subthemes to present insights into the relationship between early childhood educator participants’ music experiences (before becoming early childhood educators) and their views on and use of music with children in their ECE practice. The findings and their implications based on participants’ shared stories can assist ECE post-secondary programs, BC educational policymakers, as well as future researchers in this area to address and support early childhood educators’ music-related professional experiences.



early childhood education, early childhood educator, early childhood educators' music experiences, music in postsecondary early childhood education, British Columbia Early Childhood Education, Preprofessional music experiences