Symposium introduction




Rationale: Although there is a growing body of literature which focuses upon issues surrounding children's composition there is still much to be understood about this topical and, at times, controversial area. This symposium brings together a number of researchers who have focused upon developing both a theoretical and practical understanding in different but related ways. Particular emphasis is placed upon investigating the musical and social psychological processes involved in compositional activities.

Aims: The aim of this symposium is to present a number of complementary approaches to understanding children's compositional activities

Speakers: Two of the papers investigate the nature of children's collaborative compositions while two of the presentations discuss music activities that children undertake by themselves. Louise Morgan, David Hargreaves & Richard Joiner focus upon the group dynamics (both social and musical) involved when children work in mixed gender groups. Raymond MacDonald, Dorothy Miell and Laura Mitchell outline musical and verbal coding systems that can be utilised for analysing the processes occurring between children working in pairs, highlighting the importance of social factors such as friendship. Frederick Seddon and Susan O'Neill will discuss computer based composition, with an emphasis upon the impact that formal music tuition has upon process and outcome in composition. Charles Byrne focuses upon computer technology that can be used to enhance children's musical inventing skills. His paper outlines a theoretical context for Spider's Web Composing Lessons, a world wide web based interactive teaching resource.


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