Monday, January 11, 2010

Lessons about development from an article about music

I read an article about music and development that offers some profound insights about learning, not just learning about music. The article reminds me that "age appropriate" is not always "developmentally appropriate", and that we need to be mindful of "developmentally appropriate" and ignore "age appropriate", a concept that applies not only to music, but to other functions in development, as well.

Here are a couple of the passages that stood out to me:

"Comparing music learning to language learning is an effective way to conceptualize and understand how musical skills are acquired, and it can help us interpret the musical responses of infants. When I ask my college students to identify the sequence of language development, they often cite babbling as the first stage. However, they fail to recognize that prior to babbling, babies have been listening for many, many months. Listening is a prerequisite for language learning. Listening, therefore, is a prerequisite for music learning and the first step toward music acquisition. For all young children, particularly infants, silence should be understood as a developmental response rather than as a child being 'unresponsive'. This is particularly important to consider for children whose exposure to music begins in the primary grades. Some first-grade children, for example, may be chronologically six years old, but musically they are infants."


"Second, the interaction between parents and their children is critical. Beyond the emotional, cognitive and sensory benefits that music provides, it must be understood that the one-to-one musical exchange is what develops musical skills. We learn to talk by talking; we learn music by "music-ing."

We learn nonverbal communication by "non-verbaling"; to emotion share by emotion sharing; we learn to reference by referencing; we learn reciprocity by experiencing reciprocity at a non-verbal level; we learn gaze shifting by gaze shifting; we learn attention shifting by attention shifting...and so on and so on and so on.


poohder said...

ooo!Good one. Simple can be profound.

Lorrie said...

I didn't read the article...but my son has developed beyond my dreams with music. He currently is in band in high school and the Lord is so good...we are continued and amazed at how far he's come. Have a blessed day!

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