Original Research

Developing mindfulness in children through participation in music activities

Christina Auerbach, Aletta C. Delport
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 8, No 1 | a519 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v8i1.519 | © 2018 Aletta C. Delport, Christina Auerbach | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 January 2017 | Published: 12 April 2018

About the author(s)

Christina Auerbach, School for Initial Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Aletta C. Delport, School for Initial Teacher Education, Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

The vast majority of young South African children grow up in socially- and economicallychallenging settings. These impeding conditions hamper their intellectual growth and affect their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Increasingly, mindfulness is being recognised as a means to enhance holistic well-being of children. Likewise, music is widely acknowledged for its potential contribution to the holistic development of children. In this article, we reflect on a non-formal music programme, implemented on a weekly basis over a period of 10 months, at an aftercare facility in an impoverished township area in South Africa. Our aim was to develop, through the children’s active participation in music activities, some aspects of mindfulness. Data were generated through personal observations, field notes and semi-structured interviews. Two salient themes emerged, namely, enhanced awareness of self and others, and improved listening and attention skills. These are key aspects of mindfulness. We subsequently argue that aspects of mindfulness in young children can be developed through focused activities centred on music and sound.


Keywords

Awareness; children; mindfulness; music; listening; well-being

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