Dear Perspective readers,
In all corners of the world, educators have been concerned about children’s social and emotional development. We all know that children navigate multiple social worlds—of home, family, school, community, etc.—as they go about their daily lives. Most of us also agree with the idea that loving relationships help babies and young children feel safe and confident. We are confident that in and through loving relationships, humans learn how to express emotions and bond with people in their surroundings. Unsurprisingly, social and emotional development are beginning to be placed in the same level of importance as academic development in childhood. This is consistent with the value that is being placed on social and emotional learning in many schools across the country.
This issue of Perspectives brings this debate to the fore, with much focus on young children’s social lives—in and through music. In the first article, educator and jazz musician Alexander Clements (University of Nevada) reviews research on joint music making and prosocial behaviors in early and middle childhood. Clements discusses the potential of collective music making in fostering helping and sharing behaviors in babies and young children, drawing implications for music education. Next, Nita Baxani (Teachers’ College, Columbia University) offers a view of the impact of the so-called “Mozart Effect” in the music-related products available for children and families today. Through her analysis, Baxani invites us to reflect on issues concerning the representation of the musical child, with much attention to issues of diversity and inclusion. Although they are different, both articles highlight the
important role of music in supporting interpersonal relationships in the early years. These works are slightly longer than most of the articles that appear in Perspectives, but I hope that you will appreciate their scope and breadth. Aside from these thought-provoking articles, in this issue you will also encounter Angela Barker’s column “Research within Reach”, and a Research Review by Juliana Cantarelli Vita.
I hope that this issue offers many ideas, including some to be exchanged during our Convention in Buffalo.
Enjoy your reading!