The aim of this study is to identify the educational functions and possibilities of the use of onomatopoeias in elementary school music textbooks. Onomatopoeias in three authorized textbooks are counted and sorted according to its educational function.
Current music textbooks have been used since 2011. The revised course of study in 2008 has shown new common issues. They are pitch, rhythm, and tempo which are elements characterizing music. Additionally, repetition and call and response give students a feel for the composition of music. About lyrics, only “meanings of lyrics” and “contents of lyrics” are focused on.
However, two perspectives are not paid enough attention in the new course of study. One is that we should purposely treat sound and vibrancy of words as musical elements. The other is onomatopoeia should be used in teaching.
Therefore, considering this current situations, onomatopoeia should be focused on as a musical matter. Three authorized textbook companies examined how much onomatopoeia is used in current music textbooks in each grade. They considered educational purposes of music in elementary school as well. The results how that onomatopoeia is used in about half of the music textbooks in early elementary school years and the numbers gradually reduce as the grades advance. Additionally, there are more than 700 kinds of onomatopoeia in lower grades. They are intended to facilitate the understanding of lyrics and the instruction of musical skills.