Theses Doctoral

Musical Investment in Early Childhood: An Exploration of Parent-Child Participation in Organized Early Childhood Musical Activities

Diaz Donoso, Adriana

This dissertation examines issues of social class and musical parenting within the context of an early childhood jazz education program. Using administrative and survey data from 469 self-selected families from six cities in the U.S. where this program is offered, I aimed to identify what factors play a role in parental decisions for enrolling in the program and whether those factors were associated with their social class. Considering this early childhood jazz program as an organized activity supports the analysis of music classes as a form of investment in cultural capital fostered by parents. I used current economic models of the family and theories of social and cultural class reproduction to understand families’ participation in the program and their musical engagement.
Principal component analysis revealed four components representing possible reasons that drove parents to enroll in the program: Cultural and Educational Enrichment for the Future; Appreciation of Jazz; Socialization and Bonding; and Social Networks. Simple linear regression analysis showed significant associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and two principal components (Cultural and Educational Enrichment for the Future and Social Networks).
Overall, parents showed high scores of both general and musical engagement, and those variables were highly correlated. Additionally, there were no statistically significant associations between parents’ previous formal musical experiences and their musical engagement when controlling for musical materials at home and their average value of music education. Parents’ engagement with the program activities was positively associated with their music making at home and that association stayed stable and strong after taking into account sociodemographic factors, parents’ values of music education and access to musical materials.
Families from lower SES backgrounds used activities and materials from the jazz class at home with more frequency than families from other SES groups. This finding could suggest that when lower SES families are given access, they incorporate new musical tools and ideas from the jazz program as affordances to increase their parenting skills; therefore, the impact of the program might be stronger for those parents than for the other more advantaged groups. Jazz music in this context seems to be working as an equalizer of opportunities by reducing inequalities.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Arts and Humanities
Thesis Advisors
Custodero, Lori
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 6, 2019