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Bilingualism and Music Education

A Turkish-German Perspective

Sezgin Inceel

Research indicates that parents play an essential role in their children’s musical and language development. Moreover, neurocognitive studies point to the similarities between music and language processing. Based on the previous literature, the present study focuses on the Turkish immigrant parents’ beliefs and practices regarding bilingualism and music education. Interviews, observations and questionnaires are applied to generate qualitative data. Findings indicate that the participants’ positive beliefs are influenced by distal factors, such as cultural features, their own backgrounds, and socio-demographical characteristics. However, the lack of their theoretical knowledge regarding the subjects seems to have a negative impact on these beliefs.

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4 Discussion, Implications and Conclusions


4Discussion, Implications and Conclusions

4.1Discussion of the Findings

4.1.1Research Question #1

What are the Turkish immigrant parents’ beliefs and practices regarding music education?

The findings illustrate the parallels between the participants’ positive beliefs, behaviours, and strategies in relation to their children’s music education. Moreover, the high impact of cultural habits, socio-demographic backgrounds and personal histories on the participants’ decisions about styles and modes of music education can be observed.

•The participants had various definitions of parental roles regarding music education. Eight out of ten parents embraced supportive parenting model. They defined their responsibilities as ‘providing the opportunities’, ‘being a role model’ and ‘supporting talent’. Two participants embraced a controlled parenting model. They believed that they should be insisting upon music education. These two cases seem to be correlated with the participants’ backgrounds, their difficult childhood experiences as well as their educational and financial situations.

•Parents’ behaviours and strategies about their children’s music education showed parallelism with their beliefs. Those, who defined their parental roles as ‘supportive’ did not want to put pressure on their children. Those, who believed in controlling parental roles, seemed to be imposing their own musical taste on the children. Moreover, the parents, who did not get enough musical chances in their own childhood, wanted to give what they missed to their children. However, despite positive beliefs and behaviours of the parents, there was not enough data to demonstrate parent-child music practices in the home...

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