Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 1990

Article in Press

Developing music literacy through indigenous songs: A case study of Masvingo Urban primary schools in Zimbabwe

Shadreck Mataruse

  •  Received: 20 January 2016
  •  Accepted: 08 June 2018
There is trepidation that most of the content used in teaching music literacy is derived from outside children’s cultural song repertoire. In an attempt to address the above concern, this study examined how indigenous music compositions can be utilised in developing music literacy in children. In this study the researchers employed a qualitative approach. A case study design was used in the study, which focused on the development of music through indigenous music. The researchers transcribed and analyzed eight Zimbabwean traditional compositions. These were given to the selected participants to find out the usefulness of indigenous songs in developing music literacy. The population for this study comprised ten teachers and one hundred and twenty school children. From this population five teachers and sixty pupils were sampled and these were from Masvingo Urban Primary Schools. The researchers used questionnaires, interviews and participant observation to collect data. It was found that music teachers rely entirely on Western books as their major sources to develop music literacy and that few teachers who used folksongs to develop music literacy managed to achieve their intended objectives. Researchers concluded that children develop the ability to read and write music better through indigenous music compositions. Data collected revealed that children develop music literacy better when songs familiar to them are used. The study recommended that music educators need to transcribe indigenous music compositions to supplement the readily available content for the teaching of literacy in music.

Keywords: Music, indigenous music, music compositions, music literacy, cultural song repertoire, music educators.