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The Funky Mamas: Learning to create and perform music for young children within a community of practice

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This article reports a case study examining the music learning and making of the Funky Mamas – five professional mother-musicians who create and perform music for young children at festivals, fairs, theatres and community events across Canada. Data were collected through interviews with the band members and field observations of rehearsals and live performances. Analysis involved the coding and sorting of data for correspondence to emergent themes and for themes suggested and informed by the theoretical framework of Etienne Wenger’s Communities of Practice (1998). The author draws from the Funky Mamas’ relating of experiences and perceptions to illustrate their processes of learning through practice, including: evolving forms of mutual engagement; understanding and tuning their enterprise; and developing repertoire, styles and discourses. Findings from this study inform implications for teaching and learning; the author suggests how music educators might support and enrich learning-through-practice proesses amongst their own students.

Keywords: communities of practice; community music; informal music learning; music education; music for young children; teaching and learning

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijcm.5.2.111_1

Affiliations: Queen’s University

Publication date: August 30, 2012

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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