Doctoral Colloquium (Music): Hélène Boucher (Schulich School of Music, Faculty Lecturer


Elizabeth Wirth Music Building Room C-201, 527 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1E3, CA

Music as a factor contributing to human well-being and flourishing and its roots in early childhood education


This presentation will offer a concrete example of the role music plays as a social change agent in early childhood settings, contributing to the flourishing of emotionally balanced individuals. We will first present the theoretical framework of holistic praxial musical learning, involving proactive, reactive, and interactive musical behaviours that integrate the mind, body, and spirit. According to this framework, teaching and facilitation are necessarily empathetic and compassionate. This approach will be experienced by the participants through their participation in musical activities. Videos of young children will be presented as well, to allow participants to see the social impact of music. The researchers seek to demonstrate causality between early childhood musical experiences and socio-emotional development. Since this research will be implemented with the children in January 2019, this presentation will consist of a review of the existing literature as well as the design of the upcoming study. This case study is part of a larger research project funded by SSHRC focusing on the relationship between music and well-being throughout the lifespan.


After completing her studies in performance on the flute, Hélène Boucher finished her doctorate in music education at McGill University in 2008, thanks to bursaries from McGill and the SSHRC. She continued to develop her expertise in active pedagogy by taking courses including: Kodály (Indiana University, Bloomington; Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo; Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto), Orff (Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto) and Dalcroze (Association Dalcroze Canada, Toronto). She is certified to teach the Kodály method by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). In addition to her academic background, she has taught music, both pre-school and elementary, for more than 15 years. She is now Faculty Lecturer for the Faculty of Education and the Schulich School of Music, McGill University, where she was course lecturer since 2005. She was also a Guest Professor at Université Laval (campus Québec and Sherbrooke) between 2013 and 2018. She received an Award of Excellence for her elementary music education in 2010, as well as the Outstanding Teacher Award from the graduating students from the Faculty of Education at McGill University. She was also nominated for her teaching at the Faculty of Education at McGill University as Teacher of the Year in 2017.