Practitioners are increasingly utilising information communication technologies (ICT) with very young children in early childhood settings. A debate is raging in the media as to the pros and cons of 'virtual-electronic' versus 'material world' active learning opportunities. However, when this scenario is played out with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian children, it is even more contentious because the technological changes have resulted in shifting responsibility for teaching and learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander songs, dances and cultural heritage to a new physical and social environment which may distance musical development from community life. The rate of social change has been enormous, so in many cases there has not been adequate consultation and negotiation as to how early childhood professionals are to effectively implement the national Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (DEEWR, 2009) with respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music culture. The purpose of this paper is to problematise the increasing distance of musical development away from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and to propose new methods for exploring how digital technologies may be utilised for promoting children's musical development in various contexts. The findings are applied to early childhood practitioner recommendations for future community-led music research.
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood / Vol. 39, No. 1, pp.94-101