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The Child as Musician: A handbook of musical development [Paperback]

Gary McPherson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 39.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 July 2006 0198530323 978-0198530329
The Child as Musician is an authoritative and comprehensive handbook of musical development from conception to late adolescence. Within 24 chapters by leading specialists, it celebrates the richness and diversity of the many different ways in which children can engage in and interact with music.

The 24 chapters have been organized according to five sections:

The first section (Development) examines the critical months and years from conception to the end of infancy. It looks at how the musical brain develops, ways of understanding musical development, and the nature of musicality.

Section two (Engagement) scrutinizes claims about the non-musical benefit of exposure to music, for example that music makes you smarter. This is followed by four thorough reviews of dealing with musical preference and taste, literacy, aesthetic identity and the perception of emotion in music.

Section three (Differences) focuses on those issues that help explain and identify individual differences. It includes chapters examining how children develop their motivation to study music, conceptions of giftedness and talent, and two chapters on music therapy. Five chapters cover skills that can develop as a result of exposure to music. It considers the informal activities associated with musical play and the use of computers and technology. There are also chapters dealing with the acquisition of vocal and instrumental skills, as well as the individual and social worlds of children's musical creativity.

The final section of the book discusses five different contexts: The chapter on historical perspectives provides readers with information that will assist them in making comparisons between how children have learned and developed their musical capacities in the past, with current opportunities. This is extended by two additional chapters that focus on children's involvement in music in non-western cultures.

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The Child as Musician: A handbook of musical development + The Developmental Psychology of Music + The Social and Applied Psychology of Music
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (27 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198530323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198530329
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 17.5 x 25.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 544,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


This timely, fascinating and thought-provoking set of essays, says editor Gary McPherson, sets out to 'celebrate the richness and diversity of the many different ways in which children can engage in and interact with music.' It succeeds magnificently, but provides moreit is a book that can be heartily recommended to anyone involved in music making and education, and - not least - to every parent. Music Teacher

About the Author

Gary McPherson is the Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman Endowed Chair in Music Education at the University of Illinois and was President of the International Society for Music Education between 2004-2006. He studied music education at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before completing a master of music education at Indiana University and a doctor of philosophy at the University of Sydney. He worked at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia for many years where he helped to develop undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music education and undertook longitudinal research projects with children learning music in schools. His published research addresses visual, aural and creative aspects of music performance, motivation and teaching and learning process in music. He has served on the editorial boards of most research journals in music education, and was editor of Research Studies in Music Education from its inception in 1993 until December 2004.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of essays and academic research - so it is not an easy-to-read 'parent-help' book.
Highly recommended for educators, those involved with childcare and parents who would like to understand in greater depth, the musical development of children (mostly focused on age 3 - 18, although there are information on prenatal development too).
The contributors include the most prominent researchers on the subject of children and music: McPherson himself, Mills, Hallam, Renwick, Austin, Marsh, etc.
A reference book that will remain with me for a long time, I think!
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2.0 out of 5 stars it was a bit of a take in... 15 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title is deceiving. It is most definitely not a handbook, but is a collection of studies involving children and music. As a parent and a psychologist I wanted something more on the topic of children as musicians. I would have returned it, but foolishly wrote my name inside the cover. It is completely useful, except for someone who is engaging in specific research with children in the area of music.
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