Preschool piano methods and developmentally appropriate practice
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The purpose of this study was to analyze preschool piano method books and identify ways in which they were or were not consistent with guidelines of Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Programs (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997) and developmental characteristics of children as identified in related research findings. The literature reviewed encompassed a historical overview, goals and designs of preschool piano method books, age-related developmental, musical, and learning characteristics of young children, and issues regarding curriculum, lesson planning, and instructional strategies. A qualitative, cross-case content analysis was performed, using as cases five preschool piano methods in publication at the time of the study. The five texts were found to represent two approaches: "traditional" or "whole-body" methods. Four themes emerged as a result of the initial constant-comparative analysis, which were used to guide data interpretation: philosophy, curriculum design logic, musical development, and non-musical aspects of the texts. Findings of this study identified more DAP-relevant features within the whole body approaches as compared with the traditional methodologies. A set of principals grounded within the union of DAP guidelines and related research findings was developed and termed as the "Phil-Lo-Music-Aspect" principles. These principles were suitable for guiding the creation or analysis of future preschool piano teaching methods.