Could not download file: This paper is available to authorised users only.

INFANT MUSICALITY FOR THE NEW GENERATION

P.M. Lee

Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (NUS) (SINGAPORE)
A common age group for a child to learn a musical instrument is between the ages of 3 to 6 years old, although it varies based on their physical and mental abilities. However, parents nowadays are more open to give their children an early start in their music education. So what are the different approaches that we, as teachers, can do to help young children from 6 months to 5 years old learn music in fun, active and engaging ways?

Research has shown that babies show greater attention when their parents sing rather than speak. As a result, an emotional connection is established more effectively through songs rather than speeches (Trehub and Nakata, 2001-2002). The experiments conducted by Saffran and Griepentrog (2001) showed that 8-month old infants were able to follow instructions based on absolute pitch (AP) even in their infancy stage. Researches over the years have shown that introducing music to babies in their early years not only help in their cognitive development, it also makes them happier.

The music program that I have developed teaches young children between 6 months old to 5 years old rhythm, solfege and develop their listening skills through various fun activities. As a result, children who are exposed to the music classes were able to develop better aural skills. Many children below the age of 2 were able to identify rhythm through reading note values and sing solfege after weeks into the program.

During this presentation, I will be sharing my experiences and the different ideas and approaches which we, teachers, can use to teach and encourage children as young as 1 year old to learn and appreciate music in fun and rewarding ways. It is never too early to start developing on their musicality.