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The Musical MindThe Cognitive Psychology of Music$
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John A. Sloboda

Print publication date: 1986

Print ISBN-13: 9780198521280

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198521280.001.0001

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Musical learning and development

Musical learning and development

(p.194) 6. Musical learning and development
The Musical Mind

John A. Sloboda

Oxford University Press

The development of musical capacity occurs through informal and spontaneous means (enculturation) as well as through deliberate learning activities (instruction and practice). This chapter reviews the evidence that enculturation plays a major role in the development of musical capacity, looking at the first year of life, pre-school development, and further development up to the age of ten. At these ages, similarities between children are more marked than differences. Deliberate practice is examined as a means of acquiring a wide range of automated procedural knowledge, and production system theory is applied to the learning of a musical instrument. The chapter also discusses the utility of a test of music ability as a means of assessing underlying cognitive capacity.

Keywords:   enculturation, practice, infancy, early childhood, mid-childhood, production system theory, aptitude testing

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