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  • Writer's pictureAnalia Capponi

To­wards an Eco­log­i­cal The­ory of Singing:

(Re)Think­ing Chil­dren’s Singing and Iden­tity Con­struc­tion in Cul­tur­ally Di­verse Schools

17.11.2021 0 LIKE 0 KOMMENTTIA

Doctoral project of Analia Capponi-Savolainen

This doctoral study explores young children’s affordances (DeNora 2000) for singing from the perspective of their own social ecologies (Bronfenbrenner 1979). The focus of this narrative research study is on children’s perspectives on singing, and on how children can ‘gain voice’ in and through singing while constructing their own identities and developing agency in individual and collective contexts. The study’s data was drawn from a culturally diverse school in Finland. Children’s singing is understood from a socio-ecological framework that sees it as intrinsically intertwined with their identity construction and related to the world in which they live (Barrett 2011). The study acknowledges how social relationships develop within the ecological subsystems wherein individuals live and have grown. By considering individual identities in relation to one another within the classroom environment, where shared values and meanings are also expected to be created, the research relates both the individual and collective dimensions of identity to musical and cultural agency that can support democracy in school and in broader society. The overarching theoretical framework of this research project is founded on the Deweyan concept of democracy “as a way of life” (Dewey 1916).

Analia Capponi Savolainen is a doctoral student in the Research study programme at the MuTri Doctoral School.


Barrett, M. (2011) Musical narratives: a study of young child’s identity work in and through music-making. Psychology of music 39 (4) 403-423. Sage.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, UK: Harvard University Press.

DeNora, T. (2000). Music in everyday life. Cambridge, UK. Cambridge University Press. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education, in J. Dewey, The Middle Works: 1899-1924, vol. 9. Ed. J.A. Boydston, P. Baysinger, P. Levine, 1980.

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