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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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Singing and vocal development

Singing and vocal development

(p.441) Chapter 24 Singing and vocal development
The Child as Musician

Graham F. Welch

Oxford University Press

Musical development begins pre-birth through the fetal experiences of the melody-like contouring of our mother’s voice. These earliest experiences form the foundation for subsequent musical, vocal, and linguistic behavior. Ongoing interactions between our individual neuropsychobiological development and the sounds and expectations of the maternal sociocultural environment continue to shape the development of vocal skills, including singing, throughout childhood and into adolescence. By puberty, self-identity (whether tending toward the positive or negative) in relation to the art and expectations of singing in different contexts is firmly established. If exposed to an appropriately nurturing environment, considerable singing skills are normally evidenced. The experience of negative comments during childhood, particularly from adults such as parents and teachers, can have a detrimental impact on singing behaviors and the realization of musical potential. Throughout these formative years from birth onward, individual singing development is usually incremental and positive, but can be inhibited by sociocultural factors.

Keywords:   singing, vocal skills, musical development, puberty, vocal development, childhood, musical potential

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