Music learning can be considered as a progressive embodiment of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic structures. Rhythmic aspects (pulse, metre, rhythm pattern, …) can be learned through various embodied activities. Usually, the role of the teacher is to create favourable situations that foster this process of learning as transformation, for example the conceptual understanding of embodied rhythm pattern. Based on previous research, it can be affirmed that rhythm learning implies a transition from spontaneous and common bodily movements to rhythmicity, that is to say, a process of change from one state to another. The goal of this paper is to examine different moments of bodily transitions in order to gain a better understanding of rhythm teaching and learning in primary school classrooms.
For this paper, data collected for a collaborative research project has been renanalysed. Three teachers (two generalist primary teachers and one specialist music teacher) were observed working with six to eight-year-old students. Based on three to four videotaped lessons per teacher over six months, bodily transitions during rhythm activities were identified by theory-led coding. A qualitative content analysis of the verbal and non-verbal classroom interactions led to four forms of transitions being identified, taking into account the person who induced the transition, the type of activity and the quality of transitions in terms of fluidity and rupture. The analysis shows the importance of embodied routines for fostering fluid transitions in students’ bodily movements during the activity. Ruptures appear to be linked to more theory-based explanations without connections to embodied knowledge. Most of the bodily transitions are induced by teachers, but some transitions are seen to emerge as a result of students’ interactions.
The findings of this study suggest that bodily transitions can provide teachers with significant information about students’ learning processes during rhythm activities.
Titre de l’ouvrage principal
Proceeding of ISME 28th Research Commission Seminar