Musical Fatherhood: A Phenomenological Study

Journal Name
Journal of Research in Childhood Education
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Scarlato, M.K.M.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Resource Language

Although a number of studies have emerged in recent years on the role parents play in their children’s musical development, few have examined fatherhood. Through this phenomenological interview study, the author considers the lived experiences of musical fathers and their children, which are retrospectively recounted by three father-child pairs. The data are interpreted through the lens of children’s four psychological needs – competence, autonomy, relatedness, and purpose – and consider the extent to which these were met for each of the six participants throughout their childhood music experiences. Throughout the findings, the author suggests that although the degree to which the three fathers’ own psychological needs were met varies widely between participants, their shared value for music was most influential in fathers’ fostering of rich musical opportunities inside and outside of their homes. In highlighting the positive ways these three fathers contributed to their children’s musical lives, the author aims to depict empowered, musical fathers who engage in joyful music making with their children and support their children’s musical growth throughout their lives.

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