Families as small-community quarantine pods of sociomusical engagement

L. Clayton Dahm, Jack Flesher, Juliana Cantarelli Vita, Patricia Shehan Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article considers the musical lives of eleven US-based families, micro-commu-nities of sorts, as they were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated physical isolation directives. With a focus on family pods as sites and sources of community, we employed processes of virtual ethnography including interviews, observations and the distribution of cameras to help empower participants, espe-cially the children, to become active collaborators in a research study called Project COPE. Families indicated that musical practices during this time of learning, listening, moving and creating with instruments, voices and one another served a variety of purposes. These included self-regulation, identity formation, trans-mission, social cohesion, emotional bonding, embodied communication, well-being and a recognition of communal music expression as a human need. We note that in some cases, this rupture has been an opportunity for refocusing, reworking and re-envisioning in ways that impact community music practice. In returning to in-person music making, practitioners should be aware of the creative ways in which families were musically active during this time apart. We urge diligent community musicians to continue responsive practices in relation to the ways in which families facilitate their own musical lives and community in the home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-229
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Community Music
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • at-home musicking
  • children
  • family
  • multigenerational interactions
  • parenting
  • virtual ethnography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music


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