Abstract and Keywords
Music in the early years is best understood as creative play with sound and body. Infants are highly responsive observers of mothers’ multimodal singing, which consists of expressive vocalizations in conjunction with facial and bodily gestures. Infants derive pleasure and solace from music, and they exhibit sensitivity to its pitch and temporal patterning. As toddlers, they engage in rudimentary singing and dancing, which ultimately become tools for emotional self-regulation. Preschoolers exhibit increasing sensitivity to culture-specific aspects of music. They sing as they play, producing conventional as well as invented songs and aligning their vocal patterns with their movements. By the early school years, children exhibit considerable understanding of musical forms and functions. Their melodic and rhythmic skills are more readily evident on the playground than in the classroom. Although music and movement are linked for adults, they are inseparable for infants and young children.
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