In the Republic of Kenya, song is widely used to enhance the whole curriculum in lower primary classes. Song is used especially to aid recall and therefore teachers adapt tunes that children already know, inserting relevant words from the subject at hand. Despite this widespread practice, this form of singing in schools is not recognised by the same teachers as music training in the classroom, and so little, if any, effort is put into the actual music production. Teachers do not attend to the sound of the music, as the intention is to capture facts about various things, including the soil, the weather, numbers etc. and present them in a way that the young learners will quickly remember. This paper interrogates the process that 6–8-year-old children underwent as they moved from using song to learn facts (singing to learn), to developing multiple musical abilities and capacities (learning to sing), through participation in the Music for Literacy Development (MLD)1 project in selected schools in the Nyanza region of Kenya.
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