Does your child carry a tune? Does she seem to remember complex melodies and harmonies? Can she keep a beat? If you suspect that your child may be inclined toward music, read on for five signs of musical talent. You may discover that your child has advanced beyond what is typical for young children.
- Can she name a tune after hearing the opening notes? When a song comes on the radio, does she shout out the name after hearing only the beginning of the tune? The ability to memorize a few notes and attach them to a specific song may be a sign of giftedness.
- Matching pitch is a cornerstone of musicality for adults and children. If you begin to sing a song to your child, and he immediately sings along with you, matching the pitch of each note along the way, that’s a sign of early musical proficiency. Many adults cannot match a pitch or carry a tune, so when your child can do so, it’s a good sign!
- Can your child hear music in a “vertical” sense? When someone hears music “vertically”, it means that they can pick out not only the melody of a song, but the harmony as well, and key instrumental accompaniment as well. If a child can identify or even sing along with the harmony or bassline of a song, that’s a sign of a deep understanding of how music works.
- How’s his sense of rhythm? When his favorite song comes on, does he clap along perfectly to the beat? Can he stomp his feet to the rhythm of the music he hears at kids’ concerts or at preschool or daycare? The ability to maintain the beat is rare in young kids.
- Some children who are especially gifted musically will experience heightened emotions when listening to music. A sad song might produce tears. A happy song may lift a child’s mood. If your child’s mood is deeply affected by music, he may be experiencing music in a different way from other children his age.
If your child displays any of these signs of an interest in music, gear him up. Your childcare center may have children’s instruments that he can use, and you can always buy a children’s keyboard or drum set to encourage him. If he continues an interest in music, think about local resources, such as piano lessons, dance, or even vocal lessons, that might give him an outlet for his talent!