Waikato Journal of Education
Journal cover


Music education
symbolic representation
primary education
case study

How to Cite

Henderson, C. (2016). Music to measure: Symbolic representation in children’s composition. Waikato Journal of Education, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.15663/wje.v13i1.287


Eisner maintains that the arts education community needs 'empirically grounded examples of artistic thinking related to the nature of the tasks students engage in, the material with which they work, the context's norms and the cues the teachers provide to advance their students' thinking' (2000, p. 217). This paper reflects on the results of collaborative action research between teachers and  university researchers in New Zealand who have been investigating how children develop and refine their ideas and related skills in music. The paper focuses specifically on the results of action research in which the impact of symbolic representation on idea development and refinement in music is examined. It raises some issues and points of tension for generalist and specialist teachers when fostering creative idea development in music.

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