Creative music production by children:
music teachers’ reflections in times of pandemic
This presentation analyzes music teachers’ reflections on creative music production by elementary school children while they engaged in distance learning activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the present study was to investigate how music teachers listen and attribute meanings to children’s music compositions (AUTHORS, 2021), on the basis of creative teaching and learning as a theoretical framework. This qualitative research consisted of an instrumental case study with four music teachers who taught 1st to 8th grade students in the year 2020 in public schools in two municipalities in Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. The four teachers received training to plan creative-musical projects for the context of distance learning activities. Each project was designed as a podcast, based on a central theme and composed of an integrated set of didactic sequences. The latter offered different opportunities for music practice and contained activities to be developed by children, involving different forms of interaction: playing, composing, singing, improvising, listening, etc. With themes that address the diversity of Brazil and the world, the projects were sent to children, either in print or online. The students developed the activities and sent their answers to their teachers in audio, video or text format. Without real-time meetings, the teachers monitored their students’ learning by checking their answers to the activities, seeking to analyze and infer how they understood and followed the instructions. During the present research, the teachers listened to the children’s music productions in real-time meetings of the training course and in interviews. In these moments, they individually and collectively watched and made comments on the children’s productions. The results pointed to teachers’ reflections on: originality and innovation in music productions; issues related to children’s music performance; how the children’s ideas connected to their musical experiences; and the way they engaged in the activities. The teachers detected different levels of creativity in the productions and highlighted several musical elements and technical aspects. In their analyses, above all, they sought meanings that went beyond the products, paying attention to the context in which the music activities were done. The suspension of in-person classes has restricted the communication between students and the school community. Still, the teachers attempted to understand the children's ideas regarding their musical experiences, seeking to get to know their interests and observing how they became involved in the creative music activities that they did at home. Finally, the teachers’ reflections on the students’ music practices could support the development of more meaningful plans, which encourage teachers to listen to and appreciate children’s music ideas in school music education.
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