Music is an integral part of our existence, from the moment we are created. By the 14th week as embryos, our hearing is developed to the point of sensing sounds, much earlier than our sight, which only develops after four months out of the womb. The embryo senses his/her own heartbeats and the mother’s as well, along with other sounds which penetrate the shelter of the womb. Moreover, both Oliver sachs in his book Musicophilia and Shinitzi Suzuki, the renowned violin and musical teacher, conclude that every person is musical and can play an instrument. Music has a special meaning for each of us, but many of us don’t get any training which can develop our musical potential.
Sachs describes in his book several of the rare people who don’t feel anything when listening to music, but perhaps the most famous unmusical person is Zigmund Freud, who was appreciative of many art forms, such as literature and sculpture, but could not observe the value and significance of music. The generations which followed him corrected this error in judgment.
So here are several tools for developing musical hearing:
- Expose your child to music as often as possible, the more the better. Listen with your child to music any chance you have. Share your critical thinking and opinions about music you like and dislike.
- Ask your child which music he/she likes and dislikes and why. It is very important to help your child develop a musical taste.
- If you like a certain kind of music which allows it, don’t hesitate to start dancing and let go. Enthusiasm is infectious.
- When your child is ready, at age six or seven, let him/her try an instrument.
- Don’t pressure your child to play, but create a natural musical environment at home, through Youtube, radio and TV channels and, of course, the music you own.
- Take your child to a music store which has a large selection of classical music recordings and choose together the music which your child wants to listen to.