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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: Connecting Community and Curriculum: The Role of Music in Primary Level Education in Ireland
Degree Type: MPhil
Degree Specialism: Music Education
Supervisor(s): Mr Mel Mercier
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: May 2008
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: University College Cork
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 Vol 208 pages
Approx. Word Count: 40,000
Thesis Location / Link: Boole Library, UCC
Key Issues / Concepts: Music education
Children and music
Music in the Community
Abstract: This thesis explores the role of music education in primary level education in Ireland. Since the introduction of the New Revised Music Curriculum in 1999 there has been an increase in the profile of music education at primary level. Principals and teachers have become more aware of the importance of enhancing the provision of and access to music education in schools and creating equal opportunities for children to participate in music. The renewed interest in providing access to music education at primary level has also led to a number of extra-curricular developments. Arts organizations, local community groups, music teachers, and musicians have become more involved in music education programs through various extra-curricular projects and initiatives.
This study focuses on the classroom as the locus of the schooling system. It focuses on fieldwork conducted in two primary level schools in Cork, namely Scoil Choilmcille and Togher Boys School. By entering the environment of the classroom, the research presents an understanding of the role of music at primary level and it highlights how music is ‘unique’ in the way it makes connections between the classroom, the school community and the wider community outside of the schools.
This investigation of the primary school system argues that there are two approaches to the provision of music education at primary level in Ireland: the formal curricular based teaching, implemented by the classroom teacher, and the informal, extra-curricular work, involving the classroom teacher and various members of the school community and the wider community. It reveals that there are three main agents involved in the co-ordination of music at primary level: the classroom teacher, the music curriculum co-ordinator and the music specialist.

Through observations and discussions with the people at the centre of the classroom, this research provides an understanding of the ways in which music education can be provided and how connections between school and community can be strengthened.

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Current Institution Affiliation: UCC
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