Musical Maps as Narrative Enquiery

Using musical maps as a tool for students to enable musical understanding
04 Oct, 2016

This study explores the metaphorical relationship between the process of narrative inquiry and the process of “musical mapping.” The creation of musical maps was used as a classroom tool for enabling students’ musical understanding while listening to music. As teacher-researcher, I studied my fifth-grade music students as they interacted with music and one another during the creation of the maps. Their conversation with the materials of music and map, with each other as collaborators, and later with the class as audience parallels the process of narrative inquiry as the students experienced the music, constructed their story, and shared their story of the musical experience. Like narrative, the process of creating a musical map serves as a form of inquiry, enabling understanding of an
experience and affecting change in self through the living and constructing of the story and affecting change in others through the sharing and telling of the story.

By Deborah V. Blair, Oakland University, Michigan

This article was published in International Journal of Education & the Arts, 8(15). 2007

Photo credit to Christian Brandt
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