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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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Music cognition in childhood

Music cognition in childhood

Chapter:
(p.81) Chapter 5 Music cognition in childhood
Source:
The Child as Musician
Author(s):

Kathleen A. Corrigall

E. Glenn Schellenberg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744443.003.0005

This chapter examines the development of music perception and cognition during early and middle childhood. Although infants have fairly sophisticated musical abilities, it takes many years to acquire adult-like musical knowledge. Much of this development occurs early in life, when children accumulate informal listening experience with the music of their culture. With increasing musical experience and general cognitive development, children’s knowledge of culture-general aspects of musical structure improves. Even larger developmental changes are seen in their acquisition of culture-specific knowledge of pitch and temporal structures. In some cases, formal music training accelerates the development of culture-specific knowledge and improves explicit understanding of musical concepts. In other cases—such as perceiving emotion expressed musically—music training has little effect. Future research could include age groups (i.e., toddlers) and musical cultures (e.g., Chinese, Indian) that have been largely neglected to date.

Keywords:   children, music perception, music cognition, music acquisition, enculturation, music training

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