Strumming your way into Foundation Phase Education

  • E.N. Jansen van Vuuren University of Mpumalanga





Most Foundation Phase (FP) students in South Africa arrive at university without having had any formal music training. Music skills must then be acquired in a fraction of one semester as part of a general Life Skills module. Education students in the FP have traditionally been taught to play the piano and/or recorder and/or Orff instruments with a two-fold aim – to be able to teach these instruments to learners and for accompaniment during music activities. The use of a guitar to replace the traditional choices could be beneficial to pre-service educators. The research question is: How suitable is the guitar as an instrument for Foundation Phase (FP) education students? Specific aims are to investigate the suitability, benefits and impact of the guitar in Foundation Phase courses and the guitar learning process. Mixed methods research was done through a pragmatic paradigm. Literature was studied and surveys and interviews were done with FP stakeholders. FP students were monitored during guitar tuition and the outcomes were notated. This research will provide curriculum module developers with a tested musical instrument alternative and programme for generalist educator training. Results of this study show that a guitar is a rational choice for use in FP educator training.



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Author Biography

E.N. Jansen van Vuuren, University of Mpumalanga
Dr Eurika Jansen van Vuuren is a senior lecturer at the Siyabuswa Teacher Education Campus of the University of Mpumalanga. She is a Life Skills lecturer for the B.Ed Foundation Phase program. Her speciality is Music Education. Research interests include curriculum, Arts integrated Maths and Language teaching.


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How to Cite
Jansen van Vuuren, E.N. 2018. “Strumming Your Way into Foundation Phase Education”. South African Journal of Higher Education 32 (2), 86-102.
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