Daily Singing in a School Severely Affected by Earthquakes
Potentially Contributing to Both Wellbeing and Music Education Agendas?
The school where this research took place, was created from the merger of two primary schools in the aftermath of the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Since that time staff and learners have been engaged in daily singing, specifically to promote the wellbeing of staff and learners. We engaged in action research to examine the ways the singing has been facilitated and sustained, and explored teacher and learner perception of the relationship between singing and wellbeing. During one of our cycles of learning it became clear that many of the teachers thought of the daily singing for wellbeing as a distinctly different activity to a music education task. In the subsequent cycle of learning we examined this idea further via focus group discussions and individual interviews, and engagement with relevant literature. We found there is considerable diversity in terms of the understandings and values that underpin music education programmes, and the approach taken as a result. However when singing is employed specifically to enhance wellbeing in schools, the focus needs to be on being together and having fun, rather than on learning to sing.