The purpose of this study was to investigate sixth grade students’ memories of early childhood music experiences and their attitude and interests in music today. Eleven students, randomly selected from my current sixth grade class of students in the suburban parochial school where I teach, were interviewed.
The interview questions consisted of asking the students what they remembered most about music experiences when they were very young. Questions were asked to uncover whatever these students remembered hearing any instruments played or songs sung, if they remembered singing or playing instruments, and whether these events occurred at home or in school. Also included were types of music events they remembered participating in. Finally, students were asked about their attitudes and interests in music today as sixth grade students.
The results of the study indicated that sixth grade students do have memories of early childhood music experiences. The majority of the students who remembered family music experiences had families who were very involved as musicians playing musical instruments or had private lessons. Therefore, a musically enriched family life very early in the child’s life could contribute positively to students’ attitudes and interests in music as sixth grade students.