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Singing and Social Identity in Young Children

Papageorgi, Ioulia; Saunders, Jo; Himonides, Evangelos; Welch, Graham; (2022) Singing and Social Identity in Young Children. Frontiers in Psychology , 13 , Article 823229. 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.823229. Green open access

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A range of studies suggest that singing activities with young children can have a beneficial impact on other aspects of their development. However, there is little research examining the relationship between young children’s singing and their developing social identity. In the current study, data were captured of young children’s singing and social identity as part of a larger-scale, longitudinal evaluation of the nationwide Sing Up programme in England. Participants were 720 children aged 5-8 years old. The assessment of young children’s singing ability employed an established measure and was undertaken individually. With adult support, the children were also asked to complete a simple questionnaire that focused on selected aspects of their social identity, both in general terms and also related to singing. Key themes embraced their attitudes to singing (at home, in school and in informal settings), singer identity (emotional engagement with singing and self-concept), and perceptions of self (self-efficacy, self-esteem, social integration). Comparative data were collected from young children of a similar age outside the programme. Findings suggested that the programme had a positive impact on children’s singing ability, both overall and including the youngest children. The data analyses suggest that children could be identified as either “pupils with positive singing identity” or “pupils with less positive, or still developing singing identity.” Overall, pupils with a more positive singer identity—irrespective of Sing Up-related experience—tended to report more positive attitudes toward singing at school and other settings, had higher perceived levels of self-esteem and social integration, as well as more positive evaluations of their singing ability. Furthermore, the research suggests that successful participation in high-quality singing activities is likely to have a positive impact on young children’s singing ability and, by implication, such positive singing development will also be associated with aspects of self that are related to contexualised singer identity and their sense of social inclusion.

Type: Article
Title: Singing and Social Identity in Young Children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.823229
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.823229
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Papageorgi, Saunders, Himonides and Welch. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: Young children, singing development, wider benefits, social identity, Sing Up
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149637
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