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Early signs of musical ability?
17

Thistledew · 29/04/2019 21:24

I have absolutely no idea if DS is showing early signs of musical ability, or if this is perfectly normal for his age. I would be interested to hear what indicators older children displayed when young.

He is now aged 2 ¾.

Likes some classical music but if something comes on in a minor key "Turn off this music. Makes me sad."

Is fascinated by any live music.

Is a budding music critic Hmm. I can sing fairly well but he seldom tolerates me singing any of the songs I used to sing to him as a baby "Enough singing Mama!" Sit with his hands over his ears if we sing a song at the toddler group we go to. Blush

Can sing several simple nursery rhymes - twinkle twinkle, baa baa black sheep, choruses from several longer songs. He doesn't exactly hit the right notes every time but has the rhythm and goes up and down in the right places.

Today, we were singing 'Twinkle, Twinkle' and also the Alphabet song: "Mama, Twinkle Twinkle and ABC song matches."

I'm not suggesting he is a budding genius, but wonder if he has early signs of an aptitude that should be nurtured. If so, any suggestions who?

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INeedNewShoes · 29/04/2019 21:31

I wonder whether he has 'absolute pitch'. That could be an explanation for enjoying professionally recorded music but not tolerating amateur singing. People with highly refined perfect pitch find it very difficult to listen to out-of-tune music.

The rest I can't comment on really, I would just advise some caution in what you choose to do with his musical interest at this age.

I'm a musician and am fairly resolute that my DD will not be attending any preschool instrumental lessons. There are very few children who really benefit from early instrument lessons in my experience.

I would just nurture the interest by listening lots, going to see some good live music and maybe playing some informal rhythm games and dancing.

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randomsabreuse · 29/04/2019 21:39

I'm an amateur musician and have half decent relative pitch. DH (untrained but can sing well) noticed that a historically informed performance of something baroque sounded flat to him - I was dead impressed!

DD is showing signs of a good musical memory and some sense of pitch. She's done some Kodaly/Dalcroze based toddler music stuff - mostly about movement and contrasts rather than "music" but good fun for her - she despised the singing at tumble tots but is ok with unaccompanied stuff.

The franchise we have locally is Musical Steps. I'm very impressed by it!

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periodictable · 30/04/2019 18:04

There are a lot of music teachers/experts and parents of musically gifted children in

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/extra_curricular_activities

Maybe start a thread there so you can get appropriate advice. They are very helpful.

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QueenBlueberries · 03/05/2019 16:06

I was a childminder for years and I have a G&T child who plays many musical instruments, and a non-gifted child who also plays many instruments. My DSs both showed interests in music at a young age, and many of the children I have looked after also did, and it's something that I have tried to support/develop over time.

I found it very interesting to speak to young children about how music made them feel. Often, minor keys are associated with tunes that represent melancholy or sadness, or sometimes fear, anticipation, surprise, etc. So you can listen to 'happy' pieces of music, and to music that can make them feel other feelings and you can talk about it. You can listen to extremes like Vivaldi's Spring from the four seasons, and contrast it with something like Swan Lake, the final bit of the ballet. Very dramatic. Or Mozart's Lacrimosa.

I did some pre-school sing song groups with them but it was just for passing time, they started proper lessons (piano) at around 7 years old.

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PantTwizzler · 03/05/2019 16:15

Sounds very normal OP. My DC did this sort of thing. They are not “genius level” at music, but good (18 yo has diploma in piano and violin grade 8, 15 yo has piano grade 8 and taking bassoon grade 8 this term).

I would just do stuff that you both enjoy. Informal singing groups/relaxed classical concerts with children welcome/whatever.

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Reasonstobeearful · 03/05/2019 16:23

Expose him to as much music as you can. But that's good for all children anyway.

Dd at 14 is "good" at music as in can hear something and play it including harmonies, picks up new instruments quickly, has decent pitch, reads quickly, grade 8 in 2 instruments.

When she was a toddler she did show a few signs in that she'd clap in time and could sing a harmonically coherent line to a melody.

Like a pp said I wouldn't bother with formal instruction but lots of exposure and exploration, mucking around with whatever you've got to hand, just let it be a part of his life.

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PetraDelphiki · 03/05/2019 16:25

FYI Disney’s little Einstein DVD’s are really good for exposing them to classical music (and art) if they want to watch stuff!

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TinklyLittleLaugh · 03/05/2019 16:31

A couple of my kids sang really in tune from a very young age and picked out tunes on a toy xylophone and piano. Talking 3 or 4. They both clamoured for instrument lessons.

However the one who progressed most with his music, to grade 8, was not one of these 2, who both turned out to be happy dabblers really. I think musical success is more correlated to diligent practice than innate ability.

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Lonecatwithkitten · 11/05/2019 17:59

DD (15) and likely to pursue a professional musical theatre career, loved music from the start. She could do actions in time to nursery rhymes by 11 months, could sing in tune despite only having 50% hearing at 18 months.
Her voice is her primary instrument though so that may make a difference, she has perfect pitch too.

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Pipandmum · 11/05/2019 18:05

Sounds normal to me too. Even my very autistic fairly non verbal niece will tell her mother to stop singing!
Expose her to music and when the time comes give lessons if wanted. But don’t push it. Don’t label it. Let it happen naturally.

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stucknoue · 11/05/2019 18:13

At 2.5 who knows but dd lived music from birth really, was the only thing to settle her, she's grade 8 on 2 instruments and voice. The main thing is exposure to a variety of types of music and to be allowed to play with music eg keyboard, percussion. Singing groups but for fun. Dd started violin at 4, sung from 5 at school but no formal training until 10 and piano from 10. It's all about enjoyment though, dd is autistic so music activities are her choice of leisure even as an adult, music is wonderful but try to avoid ambitions of being a genius - I've met them along our journey and too often they have kids out of touch with the world whose "talent" is in their parents heads mostly! Enjoy your dc, love music, if the end up playing at the proms, well amazing however music is part of an around education mostly

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Xenia · 12/05/2019 22:08

Just enjoy it at that age. We are a fairly musical family (I have 4 grade 8s, my 3 sons won music scholarships etc) and I have absolute/perfect pitch (which actually can be as much a nuisance when you are singing and have to transpose as much as a help - it is just a genetic quirk although you'd never know you had it unless you did a lot of music).

Thee is no much point in starting music lessons until about age 7 but start earlier if you want. Start music theory too around that age or 8. However you can sing to him every inght before bed as our parents always did to us.

Also unless they really feel they have to do it for a career it can be better as a hobby. It can be a pretty awful low paid career with non family friendly hours etc. My children's father wishes he had gone into something other than music and I am glad I did not choose music for my career and kept it as a hobby.

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MandLmusic · 05/06/2019 12:44

Definately develop it! Half the battle is getting children motivated and it sounds yours already is actively listening and thinking about music. Your child could end up very gifted. I encouraged both my kids to enjoy and play music from they were toddlers... Now at 8 and 9 they both have absolute pitch, they are confident when playing music, they get out to play events and have had so many opportunities and we get to tag along. It's great! I'd say GCSE music should be in the bag without much stress plus the discipline of practise crosses over to their schoolwork and spending some time doing homework is no big issue. It's a no brainer. I trained mine myself, you don't need to be Beethoven to have some serious fun and that's what kids love to do.

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folkmamma · 11/06/2019 08:14

I knew very early on that DD1 was very musical. She had good pitch and rhythm from a very young age, she always responded to music and in the words of ABBA she, 'began to sing before she could talk'... at 11 she's a very capable musician.

I was 'worried' (not really but you get my meaning) that DD2 was not following suit, she didn't have the same acute sense of pitch and didn't sing out loud until she was about 5! But it turns out, she has a similar aptitude to DD1. She just lacked the confidence and muscle control to sing and move like her sister.

What really differentiates them as musicians is their attitude to practice!!! DD1 is hard working, cooperative and committed. DD2 is volatile and difficult to work with. This personality difference is going to be the determiner. They've both been given the same exposure and opportunity.

I think what I'm trying to say is, yes, these are all positive signs. But you won't know until DC is older how it will all pan out as so much depends on their disposition! Just enjoy lots of musical experiences for the fun that they provide for now 😊

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TheClaws · 12/06/2019 09:59

My DD has absolute pitch. When she was a toddler we thought she had hearing issues as she screamed when she heard loud noises/music. She grew out of that to become quite musically gifted. She plays cello and piano (plus any instrument she picks up, really!). I think she couldn’t tolerate the discordant tones as a baby.

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ZandathePanda · 14/06/2019 09:38

This is an interesting conversation. My Dd has hearing issues (bad congestion and infections in one ear) and vocal nodules so couldn’t really sing until she was at secondary school). It was obvious music had an affect on her more than her sister but, as much as we have given her the opportunity to learn instruments, she couldn’t be bothered. However, she’s in the (very large) choir now and she can pick up very slight differences in someone’s harmonies etc. She was also very sensitive to music (she did ‘head banging’ in her car seat to rock music before she was 2 Grin) and, as a toddler, cried to classical music as it was so beautiful. In reception she had to wear headphones as the noise from the other kids upset her! Although I am sad she isn’t great at reading music, she gets lots of enjoyment out of anything she deems ‘good’ now (jazz, music theatre, classical, rock).

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Bustarold · 02/07/2019 09:44

My DD was very similar, loved music as a baby and toddler, always singing and cried with music that made her "sad". My mum bought her a CD called Mozart for My Baby and she listened to it over and over in her little cd player. We are a musical family and have lots of instruments, so I remember her picking tunes on the piano at age 2. We didn't start proper music lessons until she was 7 though. She has perfect pitch too. Now planning a career as a musician and at 16 music is the most important thing in her life by a long way.
I would suggest you provide her with instruments, lots of singing, lots of listening, and instrumental tuition later on.

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