Abstract

Honouring children’s musical experiences, both in- and out-of-school, is an integral component of broadening social justice awareness in elementary music curriculum. Situated within the theoretical threads of social constructionism, experience, and attentive listening, findings are drawn from a 3-month, 2-phase study that utilized the took of ethnography and narrative inquiry to uncover how a group of 20 Grade 2/3 children experienced music in their daily lives. While phase two conversation is reported ebewhere, this essay reflects upon the results of my dissertation study, highlights a conversation excerpt with the children during phase one of the study, and provides a social justice perspective on the conversation. Findings from both phases indicated a discernable difference between children’s in- and out-of school music experiences, leading to a recognizable lack of interplay in the two contexts. Thus, it becomes integral to honour children’s lived realities as a means to broaden understandings of social justice in elementary music curricula. Children’s voices become a catalyst for enacting change within elementary music education.

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