Audiation is a mental representation of music and is basic to all types of musical thinking. Research has shown that the years from birth through age six are critical for learning how to unscramble the aural images of the music of the child’s given culture.
This process is similar to the process of learning to speak their given language. The research has shown that very young children develop musically through predictable milestones of basic beat and tonal competence. Havwe you ever had a favotie song that just keeps playing in yout head? Well that playing in your head is audiation. This is a skill that we want to build in our young children.
There are actually two factors that enable a child to perform music accurately. This is based on research by Geringer (1983) and Apfelsradt(1984).
The first is audiation, as explained the processing of sound. The next is the child’s familiarity with his or her own instrument- their own voice and body. This learning is kinesthetic in nature (Weikart,1987;Bertaux,1989) this is why the early childhood present the optimum time for combining these developments.
We have all heard our babies babbling and repeating words in the process of developing their language skills. We speak to them in a loving way, repeating words and phrases and encouraging them to copy our speech patterns. Musical development is very similar and we must provide the opportunity for this development. Of course musical development will occur in older children, but the window of opportunity for this brain development which allows musical aptitude is within the first six years.
Music Together classes are family music classes intended for the children but also for the caregiver. The research shows that the most important teacher your child will have is you! The classes are designed to provide varied musical experiences such as movement, rhythm games and games with tonal patterns as well as songs that are fun and easy to learn. You will be provided with a beautiful songbook and two CDs to take home so you can continue the “repetition” at home or in the car. But the focus of the program is fun. As we know children learn through play so the essence of Music Together is playful . Music Together is an international program available in many areas of the USA and the world.
Amanda and Wendy teach music to children at A and W Music Together, and are experts in teaching music to children. They are are two of the Reading Kingdom’s Summer Activity Guides. Be sure to check out the Reading Kingdom blog every Wednesday for posts from our Summer Activity Guides who will blog about parenting, and fun things to do with your children throughout the whole summer.