Music in the school life of newly arrived migrant children: potential paths to participation and belonging
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionRinde, F. B., & Kenny, A. (2021). Music in the school life of newly arrived migrant children: potential paths to participation and belonging. Music Education Research, 23(5), 622-633. 10.1080/14613808.2021.1993165
This article addresses migrant children’s entries into new education systems from the vantage point of musical participation. Through an ethnographic study of one Norwegian primary school, it investigates what scope for musical participation is available to newly arrived migrant children in a dedicated introductory class, and how their engagement with music contributes to a sense of belonging. Four themes emerged: (1) Self-presentation and creativity; (2) New roles; (3) Memories of family and home; and (4) Belonging. The experiences in this study highlight that intercultural music education is about far more than content. The importance of relational competences developed through group musical activity and social interplay was continually to the fore, as well as the need for teacher reflexivity over the lack of neutrality of (musical) knowledge and skills in the classroom. Musical participation in schools then requires the fostering of intercultural competence among teachers, pupils and the entire school culture.