This study aims to provide new insights on the nature of the embodied and collaborative processes related to the emergence of new musical ideas that occur when children are composing in groups.
Data was obtained by participant observation of the teacher/researcher and by ten videotaped one-hour musical sessions dedicated to the development of a music composition by two groups of children, all of whom were eight years old.
It was found that when composing in groups a) children use embodied processes to transform what they experience on diverse realms of their existence into musical ideas, and that b) while creating music, children engage in several improvisatory moments where new ideas emerge through the diverse ways they enact the surroundings where the activity is occurring. Findings suggest a conception of music composing as a multidimensional phenomenon that entails cognitive processes that are distributed across and beyond the physical body. Findings also suggest that composing music in collaboration with others nurtures a set of creative possibilities that would otherwise, not occur. Considerations for music education theory and practice are addressed in the last section of the article.