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The Child as MusicianA handbook of musical development$
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Gary E. McPherson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744443.001.0001

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Reflections on infants as musical connoisseurs

Reflections on infants as musical connoisseurs

(p.31) Chapter 2 Reflections on infants as musical connoisseurs
The Child as Musician

Sandra E. Trehub

Franziska Degé

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes the case for infants as musical connoisseurs on the basis of their remarkable perception of patterns of pitch and rhythm, their keen interest in music, their memory for music, and their ability to acquire culture-specific knowledge from unsystematic exposure to music in their home environment. Infants’ musical exposure arises largely from listening to and watching their caregivers’ expressive singing. Such singing is effective in attracting and maintaining infants’ attention and in alleviating their distress. The possibility that early music training can accelerate musical and even nonmusical development has led to the proliferation of music programs for parents and infants. Among the unresolved issues are when to introduce such programs, what components to include, and how to assess their efficacy.

Keywords:   infants, music exposure, pitch, rhythm, maternal singing, early training, musical development

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