The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 3
Here’s the 3rd part of Mr. A‘s series about the effects of music on the cognitive development of toddlers and young children. The key takeaway I get fro this is that listening to music alone doesn’t build an optimal amount of neural pathways in the child’s brain. Experiencing it live, even by singing lullabies, is much more important. Its live interaction which fosters the maximal benefits – so, yes, practice your instrument with your kids in the room. Maybe only crank it to 1/4 as loud as when you’re onstage though.
Another interesting point, to me, was that at around 3 years old, children begin to understand emotion in music. First, that’s nice because I do practice different chord runs and progressions on my bass in front of my daughter. But secondly, she’s 2 1/2 right now and I have seen her invest emotion with other objects, like when she picks up a small musical seahorse doll and carries it like a baby, then rocks it and looks at me imploringly and states, with an oddly sad look on her face, “Its a baby, its a baby…” This happens during certain lullabies especially, but I can’t remember which. It plays Minuet in G, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ode to Joy, Golden Slumbers, Jesu Joy, Sleep Baby Sleep, Canon in D and Frere Jacques.
[edit 03.27.2015] Here are links to the other parts:
There are practical implications to just the impressive array of musical thinking even the youngest children are capable of. Because young brains are so musical, they must be given every opportunity possible to experience music and to grow in musicality. Edwin Gordon, a pre-eminent authority on music psychology and early childhood music, has emphatically written that if a child does not gain musical learning during the first 18 months, what would have been learned cannot be fully recovered later. Children need to have music in their environment right from the start. Parents and caretakers who sing to infants are doing great work. Infants love it, and while they are happily listening to the singing, their brains are connecting with the music, and laying the neural foundations for high musical achievement later in life, and possibly greater aptitude in other areas, especially language acquisition and spatial reasoning.
Young children’s ability to…
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