Hélène Boucher, PhD

Doctor of Music Education


In the Media early

Article : L’anxiété de performance musicale, une forme d’anxiété sociale, by Virginie Soffer, in UdeMNouvelles, February 1st 2024.
       Pour lire

Podcast : Entre Deux Cours - Épisode 2 - Hélène Boucher.Discover the musical and academic world of Hélène Boucher in this new episode
       from “Entre Deux Cours”. Explore her academic and musical journey, immerse yourself in his inspiring vision of musical pedagogy, and enter the
        heart of its innovative research. Also discover the crucial role she plays in the training of future music teachers and in
        the music department of UQÀM, with exciting reflections on the future of music education. Prepare for a conversation
       enriching and inspiring with an expert who embodies the perfect fusion between musical passion and teaching.
       To listen        To watch

Article : Deux Uqamiennes honorées par le Conseil québécois du loisir. Hélène Boucher et Jennifer Y.M. Lee sont récompensées pour leur contribution au développement du Réseau choral des écoles
by Claude Gauvreau, in Actualités UQAM, May 1st 2023.
       To read

Article : L'anxiété de performance dès le plus jeune âge, in Thot Cursus, November 3 2021.
       To read

Article : Pandémie et transformation musicale, by Pierre-Étienne Caza, in Actualités UQAM, May 3 2022. Interview given by Isabelle
       To read

Article : L'anxiété de performance musicale chez les jeunes: Les premiers signes de stress durant un spectacle apparaissent dès l'âge de trois ans, by Jean-François Ducharme,
        in Actualités UQAM, 31 mars 2021.
       To read

Podcast : L'anxiété de performance musicale chez les enfants et les adolescents recorded for Trajectoire on CHOQ.ca, in February 2021.
       To listen

Interview for the radio show Musique et Sciences with Louis Brouillette, brodcast on Wednesday September 16 2020, from 1:30 to 2 pm, on Radio VM.
       To listen

Podcast : Effet de la musique recorded during Mini-colloque sur l'éveil artistique des tout-petits, Longueuil, Canada, February 2020.
       To listen

Publications in Scientific Journals (peer reviewed)

Boucher, H. and Thouin-Poppe, L.-E. (sumited to Studies and Issues in Music Education). A comparison of the musical compositions of 3rd, 9th, 11th graders and undergraduate
       university student-teachers. Additional Material


Creation is now included in most music curricula and learners of different ages and cultures are guided to explore their compositions skills. This qualitative study aimed at developing a better understanding of creative products of musicers of different ages and experiences while using R. Murray Schafer’s pedagogy. Musicers in grades 3, 9 and 11, as well as generalist and music specialist student-teachers composed a soundscape and its visual representation in small groups. The characteristics of the musical products and of the visual representations were analysed through content analysis, as well as the relationships between the two. Results showed that having had more musical learning experiences, rather than being older, was associated with the use of more diversified musical components. Additionally, some musical elements, such as beat, were visually represented using the same structural elements as in traditional western notation. Implications for music education of learners of different ages and cultures are discussed.

Boucher, H. and Lee, J. (sumited to Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education). Music learning in adulthood: An exploratory case study of a group process.


Music education offers lifelong learning opportunities for many adults. In this study, we explored the use of a renowned music pedagogy developed for children, the Kodály approach, in a lifelong learning context. We documented the different adaptations required and observed the experience of adult music learners. This case study indicates that participants expressed their desire to learn about Western music literacy and to develop their singing voice. The main challenges were the low frequency and duration of music sessions, while the main learning outcomes were a better understanding of Western music notation and a greater ability to sing. The major aspects of the adaptation of the approach included the choice of repertoire, the playfulness aspect of the teaching that included games and their perception by the participants, as well as the need for learners to understand what they were learning and the reasons why. Overall, this pilot project shows good potential of an adaptation of the Kodály approach for adults in a community music context.

Boucher, H., Ons, B. and Tardif, C. (accepted). Jeux musicaux de cours d'école, d'hier à aujourd'hui au Québec : comparaison, évolution et applications pédagogiques. Musique en acte.
        Additional Material


Schoolyard musical games (hand games, dance ropes, rubber bands, balloons or chasing) have been identified and analyzed in various countries including Australia, the United States, South Africa, Brazil and English Canada for use in teaching. To date, no similar research has been conducted in Quebec, and there is currently no repertoire of schoolyard musical games available in French. In the first phase of this research, 20 children's singing games were collected in various schools from three administrative regions of Quebec. These musical games were studied systematically using an analysis grid and with regard to their musical characteristics (melodic, rhythmic and structural) and performance elements (tempo and register). At the same time, we extracted a corpus of 22 musical games from an NFB short film entitled "Comptines", directed by Manon Barbeau in 1975, which features children taking part in the same types of games that we were able to observe in our field research in 2022. In the second phase of our research, a comparative analysis was carried out to highlight the differences and similarities between these two bodies of work, almost 50 years apart. Finally, pedagogical uses are discussed for the insertion of this francophone repertoire in the teaching of music at the primary level.

Ricard, J., and Boucher, H. (accepted). L’apport d’une formation professionnelle Kodály sur le développement des compétences en solfège des enseignant·e·s de musique. Revue musicale OICRM.


Teaching music requires many skills. However, several teachers report shortcomings in their musicianship training, which affects the quality of their interventions in class. The objective of this multiple case study was to measure the effect of Kodály professional training on the development of skills and strategies used in solfege. Following the training, the participants (N = 7) had significant gains during melodic-rhythmic solfege tests. In addition, three profiles emerged about the strategies used. Depending on their initial level, participants with more advanced education used strategies such as harmonic analysis, while those with less sophisticated training relied on note naming and interval memorization, while the person with the least formal learning used melodic contour. The participants of the three profiles evolved in distinct ways, integrating new strategies according to their musical backgrounds.


Boucher, H., Lee, J. and Tardif, C. (accepted). Mentoring as a tool for the development of the preservice early childhood music teacher:
        A pilot study using the classroom assessment scoring system (CLASS). International Journal of Music in Early Childhood.


This article focuses on mentoring as a learning tool for the music specialist teacher in early childhood. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the development of three early childhood preservice music teachers in a 7-week mentoring experience and to analyze the feedback provided by the mentor and its influence on the development of the mentees. Additionally, the use of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) with music specialists was examined and compared with published results of early childhood educators to assess its potential for use on a larger scale. Our results indicate that two of the three participants improved significantly on some of the dimensions studied. The greatest amount of feedback the mentees received concerned the Instruction Learning Format. No significant association was found between categories of feedback and improvement. Finally, when compared to published results, a significant correlation was found between the music teachers and early childhood educators on the CLASS. Therefore, the tool has the potential to be used with music specialists in the future. More resources should be attributed to researching mentoring as a useful supplement to the formal training music teachers usually have access to.

Tardif, C., Boucher, H., Barbeau, A. K. and Lane, J. (2023). Music performance anxiety in children 9 to 12 years old registered in a music
        intensive program.Psychology in the Schools.http://doi.org/10.1002/pits.23079


This study aims to describe music performance anxiety (MPA) manifestations as reported by novice musicians taking part in a music intensive school program, and to identify factors that may contribute to its development. 164 students from 9 to 12 years of age took part in the study. Data were collected using a sociodemographic questionnaire, and the Music Performance Anxiety Inventory for Adolescents (Osborne & Kenny, 2005). Although it was expected that being involved in an intensive music program would bring students to report higher levels of MPA, results showed moderate levels of MPA. In addition, girls reported significatively more manifestations of MPA than boys, and the origin of the registration in the program (child’s request or parents’ suggestion) was a significant moderator. Indeed, cycle 2 students reported significantly less MPA than cycle 3 students when the request came from the child.

Barbeau, A.-K., Boucher, H., et Héroux, I. (2023). The effects of the pandemic on music teaching in schools in Quebec (Canada) in the spring and fall
       of 2020. International Journal of Music Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02557614231157101


COVID-19 containment measures brought many changes in our lives and forced teachers all around the world to adopt various new practices. Given its specific education requirements and numerous school boards, the province of Quebec, Canada, was chosen to study the effects of the pandemic on music teaching in schools in the spring and fall of 2020. An electronic survey was distributed, to which 517 elementary and high school music teachers responded. Teachers reported on the transformation of teaching modes from an exclusively in-person practice to an online or bimodal approach. Continuation and interruption of music programs varied greatly from school to school and, for those who were allowed musical activities, different protective health measures were implemented. Teachers working with large ensembles (e.g. band and orchestra) experienced more interruptions in their music programs. Teachers also reported how their planning was affected by the new modes of instruction, but no matter which modes were used, most of them experienced less motivation for teaching during the spring of 2020. In addition, they perceived that it was more motivating for students to receive an education in person. Finally, positive outcomes of the pandemic on education included the development of new skills in the use of digital resources and online teaching, as well as a renewed sense of solidarity between teachers.


Ryan, C., Boucher, H. and Ryan, G. (2023). Practice, performance, and anxiety: Impact and student perception of parental involvement and musical training. Music and Science, 6. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/20592043221145000


Parents play a variety of important roles in their children’s musical development. However, whether they impact upon children’s music performance training and experience has only begun to be considered. The current study sought to examine whether student perception of parent involvement in music and performance training is related to their experience of music performance anxiety. Sixty-two piano students aged 11 to 17 completed a questionnaire regarding their piano studies, their parents’ involvement in them, and their parents’ prior musical training. They also completed measures of performance anxiety and self-esteem. Results indicated that parents’ prior musical training was a significant predictor of performance anxiety in their children. Participant age, self-esteem, and practice time were also significant predictors. Measures of parent involvement in music studies and parent response to weak performances were not found to significantly impact upon performance anxiety scores. Implications of these findings and directions for furthering this line of research are discussed.

Tardif, C., Boucher, H and Lane, J. (2022). Analyse de pratique d'enseignement observés: les pratiques liées à l'atmosphère de la classe dans un programme musique-études. Recherche en éducation musicale, 37, 43-71. https://www.mus.ulaval.ca/sites/mus.ulaval.ca/files/2022-12/recherche-education-musicale-37_0.pdf


School programs that combine studies and music, called Special Education Programs in the Arts, have certain peculiarities, such as a reduction in the teaching time of basic subjects, a homogeneous clientele and high standards. The objective of this study was to analyze the teaching practices observed in Arts-Studies in Music at the primary level. Four teachers were observed during three periods in the presence of different class groups. Verbal and non-verbal manifestations of communication as well as the use of positive and negative feedback were identified and analyzed. Our results show that the observed teaching practices are constant from one teacher to another and from one observation period to another. In addition, teachers generally use more marks of disapproval and offer more approval with regard to pedagogical than social behavior. Students in Cycle 2 also receive more feedback than those in Cycle 3.

Tardif, C., Boucher, H. and Lane, J. (2022). Bien-être en classe de musique d’élèves du primaire inscrits à un programme Arts-études. Revue musicale OICRM, 9(2), 83-101.


The purpose of this article is to describe the psychological well-being of 164 students in grades 3 to 6 enrolled in an Arts and Music program in Quebec. The results highlight significant differences according to gender and grade level of the participants. Among other things, girls reported more enjoyment and motivation than boys. Students in grade 6 reported less enjoyment, satisfaction, motivation, lower self-esteem and a more negative perception of belonging than those in grades 3 and 4. The origin of the participation in the program (parents' suggestion or child's request) would be a moderator of these effects. Thus, it seems that special attention should be paid to the classroom well-being of sixth-grade boys whose parents suggest participation in such a program.

Ryan, C., Boucher, H. and Ryan, G. (2022). Children’s feelings about piano performances across a year of study. International Journal of Music Education,40(3), 392-406.


Solo performance is a common experience for children learning to play an instrument, yet the research literature on these experiences is limited, with a focus on older children and adolescents. The purpose of the present study was to examine younger children’s feelings about performance over the course of a year of study. Forty-one children were interviewed about their piano lessons and performance experiences at the end of two consecutive semesters of study. They also responded to a pictorial scale on their feelings about performance at each interview and again at two piano recitals. Results indicate that children are remarkably consistent in their feelings about performing in piano recitals, with few significant changes over the measurement times and contexts. Correlation analyses indicate changes in the relationships between feelings about performance and certain study variables over time – in particular age, liking of lessons, liking of performing, practice time, and perception of being good at piano. Regression analysis in the fall term indicates that gender and age are significant predictors of feelings about performance, with younger children and boys feeling most positive. In the spring, the findings shift and the only significant predictor is children’s liking of piano lessons. Implications and directions for further research are discussed.

Héroux, I., Boucher, H., Tardif, C. and Barbeau, A.-K. (2022). Développement d'outils pour l’analyse des ressources numériques utilisées pour
        l’enseignement de la musique en contexte scolaire québécois pendant la pandémie. Revue musicale OICRM, hors série, 1-20.


The global health crisis of COVID19 has had many impacts on the education community who had to adapt its practices using a variety of digital resources. While the Quebec government has been wanting to improve the digital skills of teachers and students for several years, this transformation has taken place in an accelerated manner. To understand the use made of digital resources by music teachers in elementary and high school education during the pandemic, we have developed tools to analyze their usage. To do this, we first developed a typology to identify the nature of digital resources for music education. This constituted the first phase in the development of an operational-conceptual model allowing an understanding of the use of digital resources. This triangular-shaped model is made up of three poles, the resource, the teacher, and the learner, and helps to illustrate the fluid nature of the different relationships between these poles. This explanatory model can be extended to different disciplines as well as to different school systems.

Boucher, H., Héroux, I. and Barbeau, A.-K. (2022). Notes de terrain: Les impacts de la pandémie ​sur les pratiques en enseignement de la musique en
        contexte scolaire ​québécois. Revue musicale OICRM, hors série, 121-131. http://dx.doi.org/10.7202/1088247a


Following the COVID19 pandemic, schools in Quebec had to close to limit social contact and thus control the transmission of the virus. In order to understand how music teaching was affected, we electronically surveyed 517 music teachers from different regions of Quebec. Our results allow us to observe the impacts of the first wave in the spring of 2020, notably on the transformation of teaching modalities, from an exclusively face-to-face practice, to a distance or bimodal system. Several difficulties identified were related to school organization, extra work, stress induced by fear, cumbersome health measures, increased time for planning of teaching and decreased motivation. The training offered by the institutions did not meet the needs of the teachers, who therefore turned to self-training, mutual aid and sharing among peers.

Gaudette-Leblanc, A., Boucher, H., Bédard-Bruyère, F., Pearson, J., Bolduc, J. and Tarabulsy, G.M. (2021). Participation in an early childhood music programme and socioemotional
       development: A meta-analysis. International Journal of Music in Early Childhood, 16(2), 131-153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ijmec_00032_1


The impact of music training on developmental outcome has been demonstrated through systematic reviews with school-age children and adolescents but not in early childhood. However, music is increasingly recognized as having a social role, insofar as it is linked to emotional regulation and to early interactions in infancy and the preschool years. The goal of this meta-analysis to examine the association between participation in an early music program and indices of socio-emotional development in children under 5 years of age. Method: Studies were selected if they included participation in an early childhood music program and an assessment of the socio-emotional development of children under five. Results: Eight studies revealed a medium to large effect size (d = .67, p < .001). Effect size was moderated by type of assessment (observed versus reported) and the duration of the program. Conclusions: Results confirm a positive association between the participation to an early childhood music program and the socio-emotional development of young children.

Ryan, C., Boucher, H. and Ryan, G. (2021). Performance preparation, anxiety, and the teacher: Experiences of adolescent pianists. Revue
       musicale OICRM
, 8(1), 53-77. https://revuemusicaleoicrm.org/rmo-vol8-n1/performance-adolescent-pianists/


The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of adolescent pianists in their private lessons and solo performances in regards to concert preparation and music performance anxiety (MPA). A particular focus was placed on the student-teacher relationship and the potential role of teachers in students’ preparation, experience, and anxiety in performance situations. Sixty-two piano students completed questionnaires pertaining to their private lessons, teacher, and performance experiences, as well as two inventories—one pertaining to self-esteem and the other on music performance anxiety. Results indicate that self-esteem and practice are significant predictors of MPA, with self-esteem having the most notable effect. Almost half of the participants reported feeling nervous in their lessons at least some of the time. Most students noted that their teachers encourage them to perform; however, only half reported that their teachers address performance preparation issues. Less than half were reported to discuss memorization strategies or management of MPA with students, or to hold practice-performance classes. Implications for music educators and future research directions are discussed.


Boucher, H., Gaudette-Leblanc, A. Raymond, J. and Peters, V. (2020). Musical learning as a contributing factor in the development of socio-
       emotional competence in children aged 4-5 : An exploratory study in a naturalistic context. Early Child Development and Care, 191(12),
       1922-1938. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03004430.2020.1862819


Research has shown that young children’s socio-emotional development may benefit from participating in a music programme. In this study, we explored the association between participation in a general music programme and the development of socio-emotional skills in relation to the duration of the programme. Children aged 4 and 5 (N=50), from a low socio-economic neighbourhood, participated in an 8- or 15-week music programme. Children’s social skills development and emotion comprehension were measured. Teachers reported an increase in the social interaction and independence skills scores of the younger children and a decrease in the cooperation skills scores of the older children. Additionally, the older children showed an increase in their comprehension of emotions. The duration of the programme, however, did not yield any significant effect. Results suggest that the association between participation in a music programme and the development of social-emotional skills may be influenced by the age of the children.

Boucher, H. and Moisey, T. (2019). A lived experience of a philosophy of music education inspired by the work of Canadian composer R. Murray
       Shafer. Creative Education, 10(10), 2111-2131. http://dx.doi.org/DOI:10.4236/ce.2019.1010153


Experiential learning is an educational approach that has been associated with different fields including music education, but rarely with philosophy. Our project consisted of a philosophical experience in action using the work of the Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer. In his Soundscape concept, all sounds in an environment become part of the music that surrounds us. Pre-service student teachers were introduced to his philosophy of music education through experiential learning rather than through a traditional lecture. Additionally, we followed three of them as they taught grades 3, 9 and 11. Our goal was to see to what extent experiential learning of philosophy could be an appropriate pedagogical tool in higher education. Our research question was: How can student-teachers construct their own understanding of a philosophy of music education after having experienced it from the perspective of a student and of a teacher? The following data were examined through collaborative thematic analysis of 1) an open question, 2) their own music composition following Shafer’s guidelines, and 3) their experience of teaching the children. Participants were able to explain in their own words the main components of Shafer’s view on music education, they described how they could use this vision in their own teaching and they identified specific outcomes (creativity, freedom, motivation and critical thinking) from using this approach. The conclusion was drawn that the experiential learning framework can be an appropriate tool for instructing topics that have traditionally been seen as purely theoretical.

Primeau, D. and Boucher, H. (2019). Quête d’une épistémologie pour l’enseignement et la recherche. Canadian Music Educator, 60(4): 21-26.


For graduate and senior undergraduate students, situating their teaching and research in an epistemological framework can be an arduous step, but essential to establishing consistency in their approach. This article presents a case study aimed at documenting the process of developing an epistemology for teaching and research, as experienced by a doctoral student in music education. The work she completed as part of her courses on the philosophy of teaching and research, as well as her testimony, constituted the data used for this analysis. The student also took part in the study as a co-investigator leading to a collaborative approach to complete, clarify and better understand the data. An evolution in the development of the participant's epistemology was observed, both as a teacher and as a researcher, moving from an empiricist approach to a position in the paradigm of pragmatism. We also noted that she is at the beginning of a process of developing her competences with regard to epistemology and research methods and that certain concepts remain to be clarified. Finally, despite some challenges, she remains positive about the usefulness of this process, seeing gains in terms of coherence and values that underlie her practice. Since few researchers have examined these questions, the documentation of this process could help normalizing this experience for students, while allowing supervisors to understand better their students’ need for support.



Boucher, H. (2019). For a cultural adaptation of the Kodaly approach for French Québécois including the use of the fixed do system. Canadian Music Educator, 60 (3), 14-22.


Kodaly developed a very structured, sequenced method of music education. With the help of his students, this approach was exported to many countries in the world, reaching a high number of teachers and students. As it became known by people from different countries, a challenge arose: each of these locations has a unique musical culture. Kodaly was well aware of this reality and encouraged the music teachers to use music from their own culture, which he perceived as being the musical mother language of the children. Through this article, it will be argued that the use of the moveable Do or fixed Do system is also a cultural element and therefore, that music teachers should adapt Kodaly’s vision to it. Musical culture and its role in society will first be discussed, followed by a brief history of the fixed Do systems and how it was adopted by French Québécois. Then a critical look will be taken at published articles identifying strengths and weaknesses inherent to each system, followed by a presentation of the data-based studies comparing the effectiveness of the two systems. Finally, an adaptation specific to Francophones in Québec of the Kodaly approach within the culture of the fixed do system will be presented along with the steps needed to make it available to as many children as possible.

Boucher, H. and Ryan, C. (2011). Performance stress and the very young musician. Journal of Research in Music Education, 58(4),

Boucher, H. (2009). The occurrence of performance anxiety in early childhood. Proceedings of the Second International Conference
        of Students of Systematic Musicology
, pp. 32-33.


Performance anxiety is a common experience among musicians. Recent studies have found it to be an issue not only for adult performers but also for developing musicians as early as third grade. The question as to its developed or innate nature led to the present inquiry pertaining to young children’s responses to performance situations. Sixty-six 3- and 4-year-olds taking group music lessons that culminated in two concerts served as participants. Self-report of anticipatory anxiety, cortisol secretion, and observation of anxious behaviors were the primary measures. Results indicated that young children did experience anxiety with respect to music performances and that responses seemed to have both innate and developed components. Children with prior performing experience reported less anticipatory anxiety, but had higher cortisol levels, than those without prior experience. Additionally, performance location seemed to play a role in children’s anxiety responses. Those who were familiar with their performance environment responded with less anxiety than those who were not. Overall, second performances within a short time frame elicited much lower anxiety responses than initial performances. Findings pertaining to performance location and second performances appear to have direct pedagogical implications, which may help to reduce performance stress in young children.

Boucher, H. (2008). The Occurrence of Performance Anxiety in Early Childhood. (Doctoral Dissertation). McGill University, Montreal.


Performance anxiety is mentioned by many musicians as a part of their lives. Even apprentice musicians, as young as eight years old, are said to experience performance anxiety. Although many researchers consider this to be an acquired phenomenon, developing during childhood, its early manifestations have never been studied. The purpose of this research was to document the existence of performance stress in very young children. Sixty-six children, aged three and four years, were recruited from two French-speaking public daycare centers in Montreal. Following a ten-week music training, they participated in two concerts. The different measures included: 1) a parental questionnaire about their child's performance activities as well as their own, 2) a self-report of anticipatory stress, 3) a physiological pre-test measured by salivary cortisol levels, and 4) a pre-post-test of observing behaviors indicating stress. Parents reported that their children, as young as three years of age, participated in musical performances. Cortisol levels and stress-indicating behaviors were significantly higher at the first concert than on a normal day, whereas only stress-indicating behaviors were significantly higher at the second concert than on a normal day, suggesting elevated stress in concert situations. Children with prior experience reported significantly less anticipatory stress while having significantly higher levels of cortisol secretion at the first concert than children without prior experience. No significant differences were found for gender. The location of the concerts appeared to have an impact on the increase in stress as children whose concert was held in an unfamiliar environment had significantly higher levels of cortisol and behaviors indicative of stress. Three- and four-year-olds appear to experience increased stress during a musical performance and the location of the concert would influence their stress levels. This appears to be an acquired condition, as previous experiences are linked to higher stress levels, as well as an innate condition, as elevated stress was also found in children without previous experiences.


Book Chapters

Boucher, H., and Gaudette-Leblanc, A. (accepted). The role of play in early childhood music education. In Veblen, K.K.; Messenger, S.J., Dubé, F., & Duprés, J. (Eds.), Learning music through play in diverse
. Routledge Press in collaboration with ISME.


Integrating play into educational approaches to enhance children’s development and learning has garnered substantial attention among researchers and practitioners alike. This chapter presents different views associated with the pedagogy of play and systematically reviews the literature on music and play in early childhood in relation to musical development and learning. This review encompasses an analysis of 67 articles through the lens of the framework proposed by Pyle and Danniels (2017). This framework delineates a continuum of play-based learning in early childhood, encapsulating free play, inquiry play, collaborative play, playful learning, and learning through games. The main outcomes of this analysis show that approximately two-thirds of these studies took place in an educational setting, while the others were held in a home environment and that most of the research focused on children’s Free Play. The two outcome variables, Musical Development and Musical Learning, were studied in similar proportions. This review also identified that in some instances, the role of the teacher was played by a child. This finding questions the idea of a linear continuum based on teacher/child-led activities and suggests a more interactive one, leading to multiple relationships between the teacher, the learner, and the play itself.

Boucher, H. et Ricard, J. (soumis). Développement d’une typologie des différentes approches de l’enseignement du rythme. Dans H. Boucher et
       V. Bouchard-Valentine, Recherche en musique : perspectives contemporaines. Presses de l'Université Laval.


The music teacher, whatever the educational approach he uses, the clientele with whom he works and the program in which he operates, is required to support students in the development of their understanding of rhythmic elements. The objective of this research was to develop a classification of the educational approaches used in the teaching of these concepts and to highlight the specificities linked to the language of instruction, French or English. The research method used, historical and analytical, initially includes a systematic search, then the use of an analysis grid used to construct the classification of educational approaches. To allow a better conceptualization of this teaching, we have established a classification into three categories: syllabic systems, word systems and tense systems. In addition, to understand their evolution, we paint a historical portrait highlighting the contributions of French-speaking and Anglo-Saxon educators to the different classification systems. This article therefore constitutes a typology allowing a better understanding of current pedagogies of rhythmic elements.

Boucher, H., Lierse, S. and Marzano, G. (2022). A Dialogical view on R. Murray Schafer's theories and creative approaches in 21st century music education. In
       G. Marzano (ed.), Sustaining Creativity and the Arts in the Digital Age (p. 292–325). IGI Global. http://dx.doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-7840-7


The World Economic forum has identified creativity as one of the top skills needed for the workforce by 2020. However, some organizations deem innovation and change too risky. It has been advocated that the arts become a more integral part of educational curricula to develop creativity as a transferable skill. A pioneer of teaching creativity is the Canadian composer Raymond Murray Schafer (b. 1933). He believes that the goals in music education should be broader and wholistic, looking beyond the classroom to build citizens in an ideal democracy. Schafer is also recognized for his innovative ways of teaching and learning music in the schools. He encourages children to explore how they can be the creators and to find sounds from unusual sources within their own environment. Schafer’s approaches to music education have been popular, especially during the 1970s and 1980s when they were used around the world. The paper discusses how Schafer’s approaches to music education can be applied in today’s technological era to develop a highly creative workforce. It is anchored in a Bakhtinian dialogism framework as well as in Vygotsky's socio-constructivist theory. The aim of this research is to use and update an existing and successful twentieth-century philosophy of music education in the digital age as a way to provide an innovative approach to creativity that may now reach a wider audience through digital communication. As a result, a dialogical model of creativity through time emerges, in which the past and the future are interlocked and revolve around the axis of the present, and in which there are neither first nor last words.

Gaudette-Leblanc, A., Raymond, J. et Boucher, H. (2019). L’éducation musicale au préscolaire: Données issues de la recherche et idées pédagogiques. Dans I. Deshaies et
        J.-M. Mirond (dir.), Tisserands d'enfance: le développement de l'élève de 4-5 ans. Montréal : Les Éditions JFD.


Music education in preschool has become a must. Daily, the majority of teachers use music during routine activities and during transitions to support the development of children's social and academic skills (Gillespie and Glider, 2010; Ritblatt, Longstreth, Hokoda, Cannon and Weston, 2013). In this regard, the results of numerous research suggest that the regular practice of musical activities contributes to the overall development of children (Dumont, Syurina, Feron, and van Hooren, 2017). For example, to date, numerous studies carried out with preschool children have indicated that rhythmic activities would be favorable for the development of language skills (Degé and Schwarzer, 2011; Frischen, Schwarzer and Degé, 2019) in addition to promoting the adoption of prosocial behaviors (Kirschner and Tomasello, 2010; Tunçgenç and Cohen, 2018; Wan and Fu, 2019). Moreover, the practice of musical activities seems to be appreciated and sought after by children. Indeed, despite the era of new technologies in which we are evolving, it is still common to observe children initiating themselves to singing games in the playgrounds, alleys and summer camps (Brodsky and Sulkin, 2011 ; Veblen, Kruse, Messenger and Letain, 2018). These musical games (songs, hand games) are part of the heritage present in many cultures. They offer children the opportunity to repeat the same activities several times, allowing them to feel pleasure, improve and experience success. The commitment and the joy which arouse by the integration of this active practice of music, in a playful context, make it a particularly attractive and an effective educational tool (Koops, 2017). For all these reasons, it seems essential to encourage the practice of music in preschool. The objective of this chapter is to highlight the ways in which the skills related to each of the spheres of global development (cognitive, language, motor, emotional, social) are put into action during different musical activities. The pages of this chapter highlight the knowledge acquired by research on this subject in recent years. To illustrate this, concrete activities to experiment in class are proposed.


Music Pedagogy Tools

Boucher, H. et Couture, J. (2022). Recueil musical et pédagogique pour le réseau choral des écoles québécoises. Alliance Chorale du Québec.


This musical and educational collection is specially designed for each cycle of the elementary school. In connection with the provincial education program, this collection highlights music in French through educational, fun and effective suggestions. In addition, this ready to use collection greatly facilitates the search for repertoire for choir conductors in schools. The collection features folk songs and composed songs from the past and the present. In order to promote listening and musical development, playful proposals are offered to gradually integrate polyphony, whether through rhythmic or melodic ostinatos, canons or partner songs. The collection will be updated regularly by enriching the repertoire as well as by adding sections of songs on classical themes and songs illustrating the multiculturalism of Quebec.

Boucher, H. et al.(en cours). Electronic database of French-language folk songs for music education in Quebec according to the Kodaly method.


The Kodaly method was developed under the direction of the Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) as a structured approach to music education. At the heart of this vision, music from the culture and language of the learner is seen as the best music for educational purposes. This vision has been adapted to many countries and cultures around the world.
A collection of French-language folk songs, emphasizing Quebec musical culture, is being developed. The objective is to generate a database that will include a large collection of songs, all of which will allow the musician-educator to teach the various music concepts. This will also include a detailed analysis of these songs offering an effective system to identify their educational purposes. This project now has over 200 songs and continues to grow.


Journal Edition

Boucher, H. (Éd.) Alla Breve. (2023). Volume 47. Société Kodály du Canada.

Boucher, H. (Éd.) Alla Breve. (2022). Volume 46. Société Kodály du Canada.

Publications in Professional Journals violon

Boucher, H. (submitted). Le coin Kodály. L’évaluation et la nécessaire souplesse des interventions pédagogiques Musique et pédagogie.


Music teachers who use the Kodály pedagogy implement an educational sequence that structures student learning. They rely on the need to make children hear and experience music, before presenting the notation. Choksy et al. (2001) summarize the approach as follows: “the educational process by which concepts and skills are developed always begins with the total musical experience and gradually moves to the abstractions of this experience, from the known to the unknown” (p. 140) . This educational approach is structured around four key moments: preparation, make conscious, reinforcement and evaluation. Preparation consists of allowing the child to experience the musical elements through songs, games, movement or playing instruments, all through imitation. The child is therefore little aware of his learning. When they are sufficiently prepared, the teacher helps the students to become aware of the knowledge: to understand it, to know their nomenclatures and their graphic representations. This stage is followed by a long period, reinforcement, during which the child will consciously apply his new knowledge. It’s time to practice. This can be individual, but will most often be collective. Finally, the assessment consists of 1) independently reading or noting down new material containing musical knowledge, or 2) improvising or composing using this new element (Choksy et al., 2001). In this four-step model, the evaluation is presented as a final phase, which only occurs at the very end of the sequence. Scott (2001) invites us to realize that in reality, the teacher is constantly evaluating in order to be able to adjust his or her teaching interventions. “In this sense, music teachers use the information collected during assessment to make decisions before, during and after teaching” (p. 7). These remarks invite reflection on the importance of the role of evaluation in the teacher's decision-making process.

Ryan, G., Ryan, C. et Boucher, H. (2023). Dear Caregivers of Music-Learners... Chers parents d’élèves musiciens… Canadian Music Educator, 65(1), 16-20.


Music educators in schools are often the first point of contact for caregivers anxious to offer their children additional music-learning opportunities outside the school – whether through private instruction, community learning opportunities, or at-home informal learning. As we all know, there are many things to consider – more than the average parent may even be aware of at the outset - finding the right fit, encouraging persistence, supporting practice, and navigating performance, to name just a few. As music educators, professors, and researchers, we’ve crafted a short Dear Caregivers... letter to help you field questions and share helpful information with parents in your school who may be looking for helpful tips. Feel free to share it widely (and post on your bulletin board, too!) so that your students and the adults in their lives have the best chance at successful music learning experiences.

Boucher, H. and Paradis, J. (in press). Le coin Kodály. Le chant et le développement des habiletés sociales. Musique et pédagogie,37(2).


Collective singing is a source of pleasure for human beings. It allows to find the self at the center of a world of sound, to share a common goal and to live enriching experiences. This article will first take a look at the evidence that associates collective singing and the development of students' social skills; then, research specific to Hungarian pedagogy that covers this subject will be presented.

Boucher, H. (2023). Interview with Claude Dauphin, professor emeritus, UQAM And member of the Kodály institur of Canada – FILIALE DE MONTRÉAL Alla Breve, 47.


For some time now, I have been following the traces of the adoption of Kodály pedagogy in Quebec and its trajectory from the mid twentieth century on. Last November, I had the opportunity to hold several rich conversations with Claude Dauphin, Professor Emeritus, at the University of Québec in Montréal. Claude was trained as a musicologist at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and in Kodály pedagogy at Kecskemet, Hungary. He is especially interested by issues associated with the classification of folk melodies. He has been active in the development of the Montreal branch of the Kodály Institute of Canada; his name visible among the Board of Management. It was in this era that the first edition of the journal Alla Breve appeared to which he contributed the article Solmisation: Histoire d’un mot, retour d’un sens.

Boucher, H. and Lee, J. Y. M. (2023). La pédagogie Kodály au sein des chorales d’enfants. Revue CHANTER, 17(4).


One of the leading figures in the development of choral singing in the twentieth century, especially children's choirs, is the Hungarian Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). Through its contribution to music pedagogy and a large number of compositions, he helped to provide first meaningful musical experiences for children. He considered as a fundamental right the access to music and thought that to receive the keys from childhood gives access to it for the whole life (Nemes, 2017). His pedagogical vision is essentially centered on singing as a first instrument, especially choral singing which gives a privileged experience lived in a community, while experiencing moments of joy and beauty. From the 1950s, long before we had data from research, he was convinced that learning music could also support the development of social skills.

Barbeau, A.K. and Boucher, H. (2023). Le coin Kodály. Soutenir le développement musical de l’enfant par la pédagogie Kodály. Musique et pédagogie, 37(1).


One of the basic principles of the active methods of teaching music developed in the 20th century is to rely on the musical development of the child and to support it adequately and coherently. This article offers a literature review on the pedagogical approach developed by Zoltan Kodály and his accomplices in connection with the extensive knowledge now available on the musical development of preschool and elementary school children. First, an initial analysis by Jean Sinor, pillar of the Kodály movement in North America, will be presented. This one deals with the musical development of the child and the parallel that can be established with the Kodaly concept. Then, to help the elementary music teacher, we will provide an overview of the musical development and learning characteristics of elementary students more generally, before drawing parallels with Kodály pedagogy.

Boucher, H. (2022). Le coin Kodály. L’enseignement de la musique instrumentale par la pédagogie Kodály Musique et pédagogie, 36(3), 15-19.


There are many practices, pedagogies, methods and approaches in teaching music. Many of our programs, particularly at the end of elementary and high school, emphasize learning an instrument and participating in ensembles such as the concert band, the symphony orchestra, the ensemble of guitars, combos and percussion sets. What about the place of active methods inspired by great pedagogues such as Dalcroze, Orff, Suzuki and Kodály in the teaching of instrumental music? Although these are used in many parts of the world with younger children, can they be relevant with teenagers learning to play an instrument? More specifically, how can we integrate the principles of the pedagogy developed by Zoltán Kodály and his colleagues into the reality of instrumental ensembles?

Boucher, H. and Gaudette-Leblanc, A. (2022). Le chant et le jeu chanté traditionnel en éducation préscolaire. Revue préscolaire, 602,31-33.


Do you remember the songs that punctuated your childhood and accompanied your musical games? These songs, transmitted orally from generation to generation, convey our history, our geography, our language and our culture. They belong to what specialists call the “musical culture of the child” (Campbell, 2015), a culture that deserves to be protected in these times of digital globalization. In this article, we will highlight the richness of French-speaking and folk songs. We will present the ways in which this repertoire allows the preschool teacher to act as a mediator of elements of culture and to introduce children "to a variety of cultural references from the heritage of humanity" (MEQ, 2020, p.48), in addition to supporting the overall development of the child.

Boucher, H. (2022). Kodaly Perspectives : La pédagogie du rythme dans l’approche Kodály adaptée pour le Québec francophone. Canadian Music Educator, 63(3), 57-61.


The basic principles of the pedagogy developed by Zoltán Kodály have had an important impact in the teaching of music in various countries. To better meet the needs of different cultural groups, some adjustments had to be made. Among the various pedagogical tools present in the Kodaly perspective is the use of rhythmic syllables. These, according to various sources, would have been developed as a result of the work of French pedagogues. Our article attempts to clarify the origin of these rhythmic syllables, the adaptation of these to different cultures and languages, as well as a proposal for the teaching of rhythm according to the approach inspired by Kodály, in French for Quebec.

Lee, J. and Boucher, H. (2022). Le coin Kodály. L’apport de la pédagogie Kodály sur les apprentissages musicaux. Musique et pédagogie, 36(2), 19-23.


As soon as the pedagogical approach inspired by Zoltan Kodály was implemented in school networks, several researchers have measured its contribution to musical learning. In this sense, different studies have demonstrated that Kodály pedagogy can improve musical literacy (Smuta and Buzás, 2017; Ryman, 2019) and rhythmic development (Olson, 2000; Fritz, 2015). In addition, the contribution of certain tools, such as the moveable do system and hand signs, seem to support the development of in tune singing (Martin, 1991; Killian and Henry, 2005; McClung, 2008; Bridges, 2010). Finally, the development of musicality in children is also associated with this pedagogy (Kim, 2008).

Houle, J. and Boucher, H. (2021). L’écoute de la musique et le sentiment d’appartenance chez l’adolescent. Canadian Music Educator, 62(2), 41-46.


Adolescents’ sense of belonging is a key factor in their social development. When well established, it can have a positive impact on their well-being throughout the transition years leading to adulthood. Listening to music, an element that supports the development of individual and group identity, allows young people to develop a sense of belonging within their peer group and an understanding of their role within it. This article will share strategies for developing students’ sense of belonging in music education, and highlight the important role that educators can play in supporting its development.


Boucher, H. (2021). Le coin Kodály. Entrevue avec Charles Grégoire,enseignant en musique au primaire. Musique et pédagogie, 36(1).


During a workshop offered at the FAMEQ 2019 congress on the introduction to Kodály pedagogy, a group of about fifty music teachers gathered in a small classroom at the University of Quebec in Montreal. Among them, Charles Grégoire, teacher at the Académie Ste-Thérèse. It is in this context that he made his first encounter with this educational approach. Subsequently, Charles took part in detailed training on implementing Kodaly's vision and applied these tools for the first time in the 2020-2021 school year. On the eve of the start of the new school year, he agreed to answer a few questions in order to share his experience and the impact of this pedagogy on his practice.

Boucher, H. (2021). A review of Kodály-inspired education and Indigineous people in Canada and beyond in the Bulletin of the International Kodály Society. Alla Breve, 45, 7-14.


The Kodály Society of Canada (KSC) is embracing the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Federal Government of Canada. In doing so, KSC has welcomed recommendations offered by Senator Murray Sinclair, Chief Commissioner, who led the process from 2007 to 2015 (Government of Canada, 2020). Therefore, part of the KSC’s Who We Are statement reads as follows: “The Canadian music classroom must also be a place where truth and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples is honoured, explored and developed” (Kodály Society of Canada, 2019). As the extent to which First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada suffer from unfair treatment in our society became clearer, curiosity emerged as to how this was addressed by the Kodály movement over the years. At first, the intention was to simply survey this literature as it focused on the Indigenous people and cultures of Canada. As the search process progressed, due to the limited number of articles found, articles addressing Indigenous people of different geographical areas and articles whose primary focus was elsewhere but that mentioned native people were identified. In other articles, the absence of such mention was deemed of interest and so these too were included. This article therefore identifies the articles that were published in the Bulletin of the International Kodály Society, from 1976 to 2020, in relation to Indigenous people in of Canada and beyond. First, the search and analysis method is presented, then a summary of the content of each selected article follows. Finally, reflections for the future of the Kodály-inspired pedagogy are discussed.

Gaudette-Leblanc, A., Boucher, H. and Duval, S. (2021). Faire de la musique… un jeu d’enfant! Revue préscolaire, 59(1), 58-59.


Musical play includes musical activities initiated by the child, while exploring sounds voluntarily, playing alone or accompanied (Marsh & Young, 2015). This type of game plays an important role in preschool education because it calls on many of the child's skills, thus supporting learning and overall development. This column aims first to establish the situations in which we can observe and support the musical play of the child and to specify the different roles that can be taken by the teacher during these situations. We then presents an example of musical play in the classroom, followed by some ideas for related learning situations.

Ricard, J. et Boucher, H. (2021). L’enseignement de la formation auditive : quelle approche choisir? Musique et pédagogie, 35(2), 17-21.


In music education of the Western tradition, it is generally accepted that aural training is an important part of learning music, especially for apprentice instrumentalists and singers. The musical curricula of preparatory schools, conservatories, CEGEPs and universities thus include auditory training courses, also called music theory and dictation. One can however observe an eclecticism in the various institutions, as much from the point of view of the approaches used as in the objectives targeted. As various authors state, auditory training teachers tend to perpetuate the practices they experienced as students and adopt the same approach as their teachers. As teachers, it seems important to break this cycle and have a better understanding of the different existing pedagogical approaches in oral training in order to make informed choices. This article therefore aims to present certain writings dealing with the education of the ear for musicians in training in order to understand how the various pedagogical approaches are structured.

Boucher, H. (2021). Le coin Kodály. Les séquences pédagogiques. Musique et pédagogie, 35(3), 22-26.


The musical pedagogy inspired by the work of Zoltan Kodály emphasizes the enhancement of the vocal musical experience since childhood. The learning of different musical concepts being also at the heart of this approach, various educational tools were developed and tested to support teaching. Among these, the implementation of a pedagogical sequence was developed according to the natural development of the children and their ability to learn the different musical components. Sequencing the content in this way obviously applies to the knowledge taught, but also to the repertoire that the teacher chooses to use. This approach is also used for teaching collective singing, both in class and in after school programs. This article first presents a possible sequence for the teaching of musical knowledge in a French-speaking Quebec school context, followed by a sequence structuring the learning of part singing.


Boucher, H. (2021). Le coin Kodály. La créativité dans la pédagogie Kodály. Musique et pédagogie, 35(2).


Fortunately, creativity is no longer considered the exclusive domain of a small number of talented people. It is perceived as inherent in the human personality. Therefore, the development and educability of creativity have also become topics that teachers need to address. In the Quebec school training program (Gouvernement du Québec, 2006), inventing/creating is one of the three skills in arts education programs. In the pedagogy developed by Zoltan Kodály and his collaborators, creation has a place of choice. Indeed, this approach involves much more than singing ti-ti ta, as some unfortunately still believe. For Kodály, creativity is intrinsic to every child. “Humming is one of the most natural means of expression for young children, and their natural way of expressing themselves is also very close to singing” (Kodály quoted in Forrai and Kalmár, 1984). In this vision, education in creation will be done first by the quantity and quality of music to which students will have been exposed. Students therefore first need to have a repertoire of sounds - melodies, rhythms and harmonies - before they can channel their creative potential. More than that, as Christopher Azzara says: "The goal is to know the music, to own it in the same way as one has appropriated the language, by speaking it" (p. 21-25). The Kodály pedagogy suggests six main musical aspects from which to develop creativity in our students: first unconsciously through singing, then through movement activities, then through text, rhythm, melody and harmony (Johnson, 2004). In this column, these six elements will be presented and illustrated by different examples. But first, how to take the first steps towards educated creativity, that is, exposure to music as an unconscious learning of the grammatical structure of this language.

Boucher, H. (2020). Le coin Kodály. Le jeu dans la pédagogie Kodály : pour le plaisir d’apprendre la musique. Musique et pédagogie, 35(1), 7–10.


For any educator using the educational principles of the Kodály approach, the joy aroused by the discovery of music is extremely important. According to the Liszt Academy Kodály Institute, our first task is “to teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil; to instill in him a thirst for music, a thirst that will last a lifetime”. One of the musical activities that make learning music a joy and pleasure is undoubtedly musical play. This column will present a theory built on a continuum of different types of games, all illustrated by examples of musical games, accompanied by their pedagogical application.

Boucher, H. (2020). Le coin Kodály. Chantez, chantez et chantez encore ! Musique et pédagogie, 34(3), 8-13.


The organization of American Kodály educators identifies the essential elements of Kodalian pedagogy as follows: 1) the importance of singing, 2) the importance of folk songs, 3) the use of relative solmization, 4) the use quality music, 5) the development of the complete musician and 6) the use of an educational sequence (OAKE, 2020). You will have noticed that the item at the very top of the list is the importance of singing. Contrary to other approaches - where the instrumental music is more or of equal importance - in the pedagogy inspired by Zoltan Kodály, singing is really considered as the musical pedagogical tool par excellence. In this article, I will present how singing is inherent in this approach and I will address some of the challenges that may arise, including that of motivating boys to sing and that of the lack of vocal training of music teachers. Additionally, I will share with you some of the pedagogical strategies used by Kodály educators to teach music through song.

Boucher, H. (2020). Le coin Kodály. Pourquoi la méthode Kodály dans l'enseignement de la musique? Musique et pédagogie, 34(2), 19–22.


Since the 1960s, various musician-educators have worked to incorporate the use of the Kodály method in public schools in Quebec. In line with the Parent report on education, a special report on the teaching of music in the province of Quebec (Deslauriers, 1968) was published. Many recommendations were made, several of them relating to the use of the Kodály method in preschool and primary school:
- That we impose on everyone, from pre-school level, a musical initiation essentially based on rhythmic education and choral singing, drawing inspiration from the best elements of the Jaques-Dalcroze, Martenot, Orff-Bergese and especially Kodály methods.
- That said, and while keeping myself from being exclusive in a field where the specialists are far from being in agreement, I hope that we will work seriously to take full advantage of the Kodály method, mentioned about preschool, but which was specifically designed for elementary schools.
- At the elementary level, that we impose on all an education based on choral singing and dance. That everyone be offered the opportunity to learn an instrument of their choice, at the time deemed appropriate by qualified teachers. That recognized international methods are used at this level, in particular that of Kodály, supplementing them and correcting them with each other, if necessary.
These recommendations, like so many others in arts education, have yet to be implemented in our school system. Certain challenges inherent in the Kodály method, such as the use of relative solmization, have undoubtedly made its application more difficult than had been anticipated. For a number of years, I have been contributing to make the strengths of this method better known and to adapt it to the context of French-speaking Quebec. The following text will first explain why this method is still used in many countries today, introduce who Kodály was, how his vision developed and what composes it.

Boucher, H. (2019). Ressources de chansons folkloriques en français/French Folksong Resource. Alla Breve, 43, 10-14.


The Kodaly method has flourished in several countries since its very beginnings in Hungary. One of its particularities is, of course, the use of a sequence of rhythmic, melodic and harmonic material. Another of these features is the use of children’s songs and folk songs from the child's culture. In francophone countries, two tangents are observable with regard to the chosen sequence. We find the diatonic sequence beginning with the teaching of do-re-mi and the pentatonic sequence with sol-mi-la. These two sequences are used in different Francophone communities and require different song resources. The purpose of this article is to provide you with different books and websites that fit into either of these sequences allowing you to explore them to meet your specific needs. In addition, if your teaching is conducted in English and you want to use songs in French, you can also take inspiration from this material and integrate it into the sequence you use.

Gaudette-Leblanc, A. and Boucher, H. (2018). La pratique de la musique en classe de maternelle 4 ans. Données issues de la recherche et recommandations. Revue
, 56(4).


In 2018, as part of the Quebec Policy on Educational Success, 111 new full-time 4-year kindergarten classes in disadvantaged areas were introduced. Recently, recommendations from research that examined the effectiveness of this measure suggest that it would be necessary to enrich the Québec Education Program (preschool - 4 years) by providing concrete examples of programs and activities supporting the overall development of the 4-year-old child. It is also proposed to better equip the educators and teachers to be entrusted to these children by offering them continuing education activities based on the best practices in education. In this sense, this column aims first to inform education professionals of the positive effects of music on the development of the child at the time of his/her first school transition. We additionaly suggest some musical activities that can help the preschool child through this adaptation period.


Articles in writing

Boucher, H., Gaudette-Leblanc, A. and Raymond, J. (in process). The role of play in early childhood music education: A systematic review.


Over the past few decades, researchers and educators have embraced play as the best vehicle for learning of young children. The world of early childhood music education is also rooted in the idea that musical development is best stimulated through play. In discussing the “state of play” in music education research from the early childhood, Young (2016) comments on trends and frameworks that are being used by researchers in different contexts and countries. She identifies two major shifts in the research paradigm over the past 20 years. Behavioral theories about the 'incompetent' infant and the 'blank slate' infant have been eclipsed by the constructivist view of the 'competent' child responding skillfully to their environment. Additionally, there is now a recognition of the importance of music study as a socio-cultural family practice in ethnically diverse post-migration societies.
In the world of music education in early childhood, unlike that of adolescents, adults or the elderly, there is already a significant body of knowledge about the role of play in learning music. We wish to offer a systematic review of the published literature using the following syntax: Music* and Game* and “Young Children” or “Early Childhood”. Major databases in education and psychology will be searched and analyzed to identify relevant articles, they will then be organized according to emerging themes. The literature will be reviewed to identify the different frameworks and theories used, to analyze quantitative research findings and to provide effect size where possible and, to investigate topics in which qualitative studies researchers have transformed the young child from the subject of the study to an equal, participating in the research process.
We believe that such a review will help solidify our understanding of learning music through play in the early years. It might also encourage researchers to examine similar topics and use comparable research procedures with older participants. In addition, this will contribute to the circulation of different points of view associated with the pedagogy of play and music for early childhood educators.


Gaudette-Leblanc, A., Bolduc, J., Bédard-Bruyère, F., Boucher, H., Pearson, J., Cirelli, L. and Tarabulsy, G.M. (in process). Do short-
       term musical interactions promote social behaviors in children? A systematic review.


The quality of interactions between a parent and his or her child greatly influences the child's attachment security and development. More specifically, sensitive and warm parenting practices would be associated with the development of a secure attachment relationship and the child's social adjustment (Goodman, Newton and Thompson, 2012). Nevertheless, the development of a secure attachment relationship seems less likely in social risk contexts characterized by low parental education, low income, marital conflict and lone-parenthood (Cyr, Euser, Bakermans-Kranenburg and van IJzendoorn, 2010). Thus, several researchers are questioning the intervention strategies to be implemented in the community in order to support the quality of interactions and the emergence of safer attachment within these families.
To date, various psychosocial intervention programs to promote the adoption of more sensitive parental behaviours have been designed and implemented in the home (Berlin, Zaenah and Lieberman, 2016;). Short-term attachment-based home intervention appears to improve the caregiver's sensitivity, increase attachment security and contribute to the child's social development (Moss, Dubois-Comtois, Cyr, Tarabulsy and Bernier, 2011; Moss, Tarabulsy, Dubois-Comtois, Cyr, Bernier and St-Laurent, 2018). In these interventions, after a brief discussion on child attachment and development, according to the child's age and needs, the intervener suggests activities to encourage affiliation and reciprocity within the dyad. Then, in order to increase parents' ability to observe their children's reaction during the interaction, a video feedback on the parent-child interaction is provided. The use of nursery rhymes, peek-a-boo and songs games are part of the suggested activities. These musical activities may be an opportunity to observe the development of the sensitivity of the primary caregiver (Vlimas, Malloch & Burnham, 2013). Nevertheless, it is likely that practitioners in the field of attachment are not aware of the litterature concerning the contribution of musical interactions on the quality of parent-child interactions and on their impact on the children's social behaviours. Although it has been suggested that musical practices at home can nurture the relationship between parent and child and that this can have consequences on the child's social development (Trehub, 2019), it seems necessary to specify in which conditions this may be the case. This theoretical article aims to aswer to this gap. First, a systematic review of the litterature will inform practitioners about the current knowledge on this subject. This will be followed by a discussion that aims to clarify the context in which home music practice has been studied to date and to suggest new avenues for research in the field of social science.

Boucher, H. (in process). A systematic review of rhythm teaching approaches.


Music educators’ tasks include rhythm teaching, no matter the age group they are working with. Many approaches are available for teachers to structure their teaching, among which the traditional counting system, the rhythm syllables, the speech cues and the use of rhythmic words. The goals of this article are to offer to music educators a systematic analysis of the published research comparing a minimum of two different approaches to teach music rhythms and to identify the significant results in terms of best effective practices.
To identify as many relevant publications as possible, several databases were searched: ERIC (EBSCO), Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), PsycINFO, JSTOR, FRANCIS, WorldCat. A search of the gray litterature was also conducted through: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global, Erudit, Thesis Canada, Open Access to Thesis and Dissertations (on line). The following key words were used to execute these search: 'rhythm music', 'rhythm reading', 'rhythm teaching', 'music rhythm words', 'rhythm syllables', 'Kodaly', 'Gordon music', 'Takadimi', 'music sight reading'. Every study found was then hand search for other publications that might have been missed with the above search.
The methods mostly studied are the traditional “l-e-and-a”, Kodaly, Gordon, Takadimi and speech cues. Most of the research found used a quasi-experimental methodology with or without control group. However, very few were comparable in regards to methodology, subjects and measures. Moreover, most of them did not compare the same methods of rhythmic teaching, making a meta-analysis impossible. Whenever sufficient data was provided, effect size was calculated using Cohen’s d analysis. Even though the studies found compare different systems together, a few elements are worth noting. The first is the effectiveness of the Speech Cues method. This approach is characterised by a set of words that are systematically associated with a rhythmical element. The second element that needs to be underlined is that the traditional method of counting “l-e-and-a” seems to be the least efficient one.


On Going Research Projects

Boucher, H. (in process). The impact of friendship on peer assessment among undergraduate students.


Since Vygotsky’s major contribution, i.e. socio-constructivism in education, peer assessment has become a way of supporting students’ responsibility for their own learning and the learning of others (Boud et al., 1999). This type of assessment, along with others, is used in many schools, in many disciplines, and at different levels. It recently gained considerable interest in higher education driven by both its educational value and by its ability to provide students with the opportunity to develop important transferrable skills (McGarr and Clifford, 2012). It also brings questions such as the reliability of the student grading, expertise of the peer assessors, power relations, and time available to implement this process (Liu & Carless, 2006; Van Den Berg et al., 2006). Patton (2012) reports that although students are in favour of peer assessment as a formative type of evaluation, they are very critical when it is used as a summative process. Similarly, McConlogue (2012) reports that students gained a better understanding from being an assessor, but were concerned that their peer assessors’ marks were not ‘fair’. When asked whether their peers’ assessments should have a greater weight in their final grade, participants in McGarr and Clifford’s (2012) study did not agree, echoing the same concern.
This perception is interesting since other researchers have found that peer evaluation yields similar results as assessments made by the course lecturer (Şahin, 2008). Falchikov and Goldfinch (2000) in their meta-analysis of 48 peer-assessment studies, report that correlations between the marks were higher in studies in which peer assessments involved making overall global judgments using well-understood criteria. Topping (1998) also concludes that peer-assessment shows adequate reliability and validity. On the contrary, De Grez, Valcke and Roozen (2012), looking at a comparison between teacher, self, and peer assessment of oral presentations, found that the total score of the rubric given by teachers was significantly lower than that of the peers. Other researchers have also reported that students’ peer evaluations were not as reliable, accurate and precise as those done by the teachers making it difficult to use as a summative assessment (Freeman, 1995; Goldfinch & Raeside, 1990; Kwan & Leung, 1996; Orsmond, Merry, & Reiling, 1996).
Although the fairness and value of peer assessment in higher education has been well documented in recent years, the relationships that develop among students and the consequent impact on peer assessment has not yet been sufficiently considered. Vu & Dall’Alba (2007), in their case study, mention peer assessor’s worries about causing friction and hurt feelings, or, if the classmate is a friend, believing that it can cause a betrayal of the friend’s trust. They also report the following: “One student experienced the peer assessment process as stressful, questioning its links to learning: I do not think that it enhances understanding at all because I am too concerned about whether or not I was marking and assessing other people fairly and evenly…. Assessment is not relevant to learning. I do not think that assessing can necessarily lead to learning. The remaining students also expressed unease about giving marks and criticism to peers. They feared that unfair marks, and inappropriate or overly critical comments, could cause friction with peers. They were concerned that these fears may produce bias in marking.”
To lower these emotional reactions, they suggest debriefing after the assessment is completed. They also mention that it may give rise to conflicts among students, especially when a class bond has developed. Topping, Smith, Swanson and Elliot (2000) also looked at the emotional reactions of the students and they found that this process is perceived as socially uncomfortable. And Evans et al., (2005) report that students react differently depending on the level of respect they have for their peers; they may only feel comfortable being assessed by peers they respect. On the other hand, Koç (2011) identified the strengthening of relationships between colleagues as one of the numerous benefits of peer assessment.
The purpose of this study is to document the role of existing relationships (friendship, past disagreement, lack of respect) on peer assessment in higher education. This will be done through analyzing peer assessments of the students’ final oral presentation and surveying them to get an understanding of how they perceive peer assessment in higher education in a context where they know each other very well. The participants are selected from a cohort who has been studied together for their whole program (four years for the undergraduates, two years for the graduate students). Most of them will be at the very end of their program in education. They have had many of their courses together, some of them have developed significant friendships, while others have gone through difficult relationships over the years. The following research questions will be addressed:
How do existing relations (friendship, previous disagreement, lack of respect) influence students in assessing their peers?
How is that task perceived by the students?
In a context where students know each other well, is peer assessment perceived as a fair method of evaluation?
Is an assessment form with precise criteria perceived to be helpful (to bring more fairness) in peer assessment?

Boucher, H. (in process). A qualitative inquiry of peer assessment among graduate students.


To parallel the previous project, the purpose of this study was to document the experience of being peer assessed and assessing peers as graduate students. Five doctoral students shared their experience with the researcher. A thematic analysis of these description remains to be performed.


Boucher, H. et Gaudette-Leblanc, A. (in process). The contribution of the parent's participation in a program of musical activities in early childhood.


In Quebec, in order to allow family and professional life to have a better flow, parents of children under the age of 5 have access to a network of subsidized educational childcare services, attended by an increasing number of children each year (Ministry of the Family, Directorate General of Policies, 2014). In the United States, in 2016, almost two-thirds of children aged 3 to 5 participated in a preschool education program (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). At the same time, in community settings, various play education programs are now offered to children and their caregivers (Williams, Berthelsen, Viviani and Nicholson, 2018).
Music education programs are part of these services and seem to be attracting increasing interest from parents and the educational community (Abad and Barrett, 2017; Trehub and Degé, 2015). This increased interest can be explained by the fact that these programs are fun and accessible to a wide range of families. For example, in Australia, the Sing and Grow program is nationally based and offers parents and children with special needs the opportunity to participate in parent-child dyad musical activities. At the international level, Music Together® and Kindermusik® are both offered to families as well as in educational settings (with or without the parent).
From the parents' point of view, participation in a music education program could contribute to the socio-emotional development of young children (Nicholson, Berthelsen, Abad, William and Bradley, 2010; Pitt and Hargreaves, 2017a, 2017b). This perception converges with all the research documenting the impact of the practice of music on the social development of children (Hallam, 2010; Hallam, 2015; Schellenberg, 2016; Trehub & Degé, 2015). Indeed, research data indicate that certain characteristics, inherent to music, favor dyadic synchrony and make it more available to interactions (Cirelli, Trehub, & Trainor, 2018; Trehub and Cirelli, 2018). Specifically, research indicates that before the age of one year, the child would be more engaged and show more sustained attention towards his interlocutor when the latter presents him with a song in a joyful manner (Cirelli, Jurewicz & Trehub, 2019; Corbeil, Trehub & Peretz, 2013; Costa-Giomi and Ilari, 2014; Trehub, Platinga & Russo, 2016). In addition, some studies suggest that infants would be more likely to interact socially with strangers who offer them a song if this song has already been presented to them interactively by their parents (Mehr, Song, & Spelke, 2016; Mehr & Spelke, 2017). Finally, they would be more inclined to help a stranger with whom they have already interacted by singing (especially if the song presented by the stranger is familiar) or by moving in synchrony (Cirelli, Einarson & Trainor, 2014; Cirelli & Trehub, 2018; Kirschner & Tomasello, 2010). These results suggest that participation in a music education program could promote the young child's socio-emotional development.
Recently, a meta-analysis was performed to measure the impact of a music program on the socio-emotional development of young children (Gaudette-Leblanc et al., in writing). In this analysis, we were able to establish the size of this effect as being moderately large (d = .67, p <.001). One of the factors having been considered as a moderating variable being the presence or not of the parent during musical activities. Unfortunately, this could not be calculated since only one of the studies selected had taken place without the parent's presence (Brown and Sax, 2013). Furthermore, research on the impact of parental participation when school-aged children learn to play an instrument has revealed that the presence and attitudes of parents have a major influence on children's musical engagement (Creech, 2009; Ilari, 2018). Parents' participation could therefore possibly contribute to the effectiveness of musical interventions in young children and to their socio-emotional development.
Our interest in this study therefore concerns the contribution that the parent's participation can have during an early childhood music education program. More specifically, we would like to have a better understanding of the contribution of a music education program on the socio-emotional development of young children (2-5 years old) in two contexts:1- Community music education program (with parent) 2- Music education program in an educational environment (without parent)
Our main research questions are:Is the presence or not of the parent during musical activities with children influence the effect of the program on the socio-emotional development of children? Is the presence or not of the parent during musical activitie influence musical activities done at home?

Boucher, H. (en cours). Jeux musicaux de cours d'école au Québec.


Schoolyard musical games (hand games, skipping ropes, rubber bands, balls or pursuit) have been identified and analyzed in various countries including Australia, the United States, South Africa, South, Brazil and English Canada to then be used for educational purposes. Until now, no similar research has been conducted in Quebec and there is currently no repertoire of schoolyard musical games available in French. Thanks to the financial support of the Fonds de recherche du Québec, a collection of musical games is underway in all regions of Quebec. This will allow us to better understand the characteristics of this repertoire and to draw educational resources from it for music teachers, while safeguarding a unique musical heritage.

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