Abstract

This article reports a case study involving an app designed to introduce music listening activities to children. In 2013, the educational service of Casa da Música, the main concert hall in Porto, Portugal, developed Orelhudo (Big Ears), a program for music appreciation to be used in primary schools on a daily basis. The study focuses on the ways a group of 24 children, ages 8–9 years, created meaning from listening to and appreciating activities prompted by their primary teacher when she introduced Orelhudo in the classroom. Endorsing the idea that schools have a decisive role in promoting diverse and meaningful listening practices among children (Green, 2008; Regelski, 2008; Silverman, 2013), this study aims at further understanding the educational and musical purposes of the resources and activities developed by Maria, the primary teacher, as she implemented the program, and the ways her pupils responded to these same resources and activities. Findings suggest that when this app is used in the classroom context in a holistic and cross-curricular approach, along with activities intended to prompt personal expression, communication, and creativity, children connect to Orelhudo in a thoughtful and meaningful way, demonstrating their music listening skill development. Findings also suggest that the meanings created by children during these specific listening and appreciation activities might lead them to cope better with their inner and outer worlds, while also developing reflective and critical thinking.

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