In this qualitative study, I explored the potential of music software to facilitate a sense of agency, and the development of a “musician voice” among participants in an after-school composition group. Six fourth- and fifth-grade students participated in weekly sessions in which they used GarageBand to arrange, record, and compose music. Participants developed idiosyncratic processes for creating, and drew inspiration from their own music and life experiences. They valued the opportunity to compose original musical content using MIDI keyboard controllers and felt a strong sense of ownership and personal pride in their creations. The results of this study suggest that when students are provided with an optimal level of freedom and flexible tools that meet their needs, composition can lead to personally meaningful musical engagements.
Cape, Janet E.
"Creating Opportunities for Voice and Choice: Elementary Students’
Participation in an After-School Music Composition Group,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 24, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol24/iss1/3