Maria Magdalena Sanchez Moreno
A study of diversity and music-making in early childhood: Towards inclusive research and practice
This CDA arises from a growing need to address the inequity in access to arts and cultural activities
(including music) for early childhood (EC) in England. There are structural barriers that make funding
and access for the birth to five age group inequitable. These include an educational system which
provides universal access to music through compulsory education for children from five to 16 years,
a National Plan for Music Education (DfE, 2011) which does not make provision for children under
five, and an unregulated early childhood arts education sector.
These factors compromise England’s capacity to honour its commitment to The United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child that every child (0-18 years) has the right to equal
opportunities to participate in cultural and artistic activities (article 31, UNCRC, 1990).
National charity, MERYC England (Music Educators and Researchers of Young Children) aims to
articulate high quality inclusive EC music practices with an emphasis on research and practice that
recognises social and cultural diversity of early childhood in England making them an ideal partner
for this CDA.
This study’s collaboration enables investigation of the early childhood music landscape in England
through understanding its history, and its disparate contexts. From this cultural history basis, it will chart conceptions of ways of working that are inclusive, those that inculcate a sense of belonging
that Pascal et. Al (2020) suggest is needed now, whilst being sensitive to a child’s cultural heritage.
Making available illustrative examples of the findings will provide practical examples to help shape
practice and research. The findings will be relevant to interdisciplinary networks such as
international early childhood music, arts and education networks; early childhood networks;
community music organisations; socially engaged practitioners; early education organisations;
funders of informal music projects; local cultural education partnerships; musicologists;
anthropologists and ethnomusicologists.