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Is music on the wane? A small mixed methods study exploring musical learning in the school reception class in the East of England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2022

Julie Digby*
Independent Researcher, 4 Caesar Close, Baston, Peterborough, UK
Corresponding author. Email:


This small-scale mixed methods study sought to explore the nature of the musical learning in the Reception year. Research data from the questionnaires (n = 39) provide some evidence that little has changed over the last two decades in some aspects of the music provision for children aged 4 and 5 years. However, interviews with eight Reception teachers revealed some unexpected findings on account of some contemporary barriers. Qualitative data suggest that children’s entitlement to develop their innate musicality within the Foundation stage curriculum may be at risk, as some teachers find the challenges of ‘fitting it all’ is difficult to accomplish.

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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