Musicking in Nature and the Nature of Musicking

This paper explores how children’s music making outdoors involved interactivity with nature (Adams and Beauchamp, 2018). Children from five primary schools in South-East Wales made music in various outdoor rural locations. These activities were video-recorded and after their musical performances, the children were interviewed using video-stimulated reflective dialogue (VSRD) in semi-structured interviews. Their teachers also took part in semi-structured interviews, but without the use of VSRD. An iterative thematic analysis suggested that the children’s music-making had engendered an enhanced connectivity to nature. Evidence from the study is analysed with conceptions of musicking (Small, 1998) and Buber’s (1970) philosophy of dialogue. This analysis is synthesised with Gelter’s (2007) philosophy of “genuine frilutsliv” and Cajete’s (1999) “biophilic” approach to education to demonstrate that children’s music making outdoors can connect children with nature and “others” (Buber, 1970). A conceptual model is presented showing a progression leading to a sense of “communitas” (Turner, 1969).