Togetherness!: adult companionship – the key to music making in kindergarten
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Group singing encourages social bonding, which brings a plethora of positive side effects. Music as a subject in the training of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) teachers nonetheless faces cutbacks in many countries. Furthermore, ECEC staff often lack confidence in their singing and music-making abilities, and we might therefore say that their musical identity is negative. Our prior research has found that, despite an individual negative musical identity among individual ECEC staff members, their joint musical identity as a group can be positive. The key word is ‘we.’ In this paper, we analyse the notion of ‘we’ in the context of the concepts of ‘voice shame’ and ‘the squelching of childhood’ as well as research on friendship, trust, and the ‘broaden-and-build’ theory. Our findings indicate that the adult companionship represented by the word ‘we’ is what makes it possible to overcome the squelching of childhood and thus minimise voice shame. We conclude by discussing how our findings might impact the music programme in ECEC teacher training.