In last week’s blog we referred to John M. Feierabend, Ph.D. 1996 article ‘Music and Movement for Infants and Toddlers: Naturally Wonder-full’. We briefly talked about the importance of having a strong artistic influence in an infant’s life in order to foster the appreciation and participation and literacy with music.
Infants appreciate early exposure to sounds, a variety of sounds are taken in by the infant as soon as they are born. This includes music, infants do respond to music despite any visual cues you may notice. Their brains are not basing music on whether it’s a ‘hit’ or not, rather their brains are trying to make sense of all the sounds and how they relate to each other.
Despite common mythology, there is no neurological evidence that listening to classical music will make you smarter. So although listening to baby Mozart will foster an appreciation of that style of music it will not necessarily affect your intelligence. So good news for some! Listening to all kinds of music is really the most ideal situation for children to be in.
Singing to your infants is also recommended. Playing music for them, dancing with them can also create an early bond with music.
In his article “No Really: Teach Your Toddler Perfect Pitch” Garth Sundem
Quoted Diana Deutsch, University of California San Diego professor and president of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition, and she said the trick is pairing pitch with meaning — early!
Pairing music with meaning! This treats music as a learned language as opposed to a heavenly gifted talent. Listening to lots of different types of music allows the infant to make associations with sounds and things that they relate to. A child can associate a note with a song they like or an instrument that played it, or if the music has a ‘scary’ part in it…etc. There are infinite ways a child can associate a musical note with some type of meaning. It can be deliberately taught and recognized and refined. Children naturally make association with the sounds they hear, if they are then reinforced by a person of influence they can strengthen these associations and work more actively to sought them out.
I have a strong tendency to lean on storytelling for education. For this very reason! Hearing a human story can strengthen the bond to a particular piece of music/art/ literature. Using colors to associate them with notes using animals…really anything that the child can relate to, can form a pathway to creating meaning behind the notes!
Here are a list of 10 Musicians that are great jumping off points for infant listening
Listening to music with infants/toddlers- Children can be finicky with music. They will tend to fall in love with one song and want to hear it over and over and may complain or whine when those requests are not made. Make them to listen to different kinds of music they will become accustomed to it, if it is forced on them.
When I say ‘force’ I don’t mean physically force of any kind! I mean be deliberate. When going on a car ride make a rule. Everyone gets to pick one song but then we listen to what the grown up driving wants whatever it is just be deliberate and follow through. Lead the way, if you can tell a story about the music if you know anything. When they are infants they are just absorbing the world and building expectations.
This may mean as an adult breaking out of your own listening habits and being deliberate about searching out music that you don’t usually listen to. Use this list as a reference point. Between these musicians on the list there are literally hundreds of amazing songs to find, not to mention associated artists.
https://www.wikipedia.org/ is a great starting point for searches on these musicians personal journey’s