Music For Children
Early is the best time to start children with an enriched musical background.

The earlier the child starts to hear and learn about music, the more enriched
and fulfilling the child's experience of music is going to be. This is even more
beneficial for talented children. A child cannot receive the full benefit of
music and will not learn as much or at all without the first three stages of
preparatory audiation. With this in mind, I will now show you how to guide
children through these stages. First of all, we need to look at resources. For
this particular situation, I will have two helpers, two rooms in which to work
(one is furnished with cribs, the other is mostly open space with a carpet).

Also, I will have a good sound system in both rooms (that includes a tape player
and compact disc player), and some money (available to buy recordings and
equipment). Next is the age range of the children. The first stage is

Absorption. One of the most difficult things to do when guiding children through
these stages is to know when the right time is to move them to the next stage.

This often requires much patience. The reason that you need so much patience is
because all children move through the different stages of preparatory audiation
at different times. The times when children move are as different as their
handwriting. In the Absorption stage, children are "absorbing" music.

But, not all music is appropriate. Most of the music that should be played is
live music. It should also be played in different keyalities, tonalities,
harmonies, meters, and tempos. When playing such diverse groups of music it is
also important to not play music with words. Why you ask? Because if you play
music with words, the children seem to focus their attention more on the words
than the music itself. Out of the two rooms that we have, I would use the one
room, which has the cribs in it for the children in the absorption stage. This
would be more appropriate for children in the absorption stage than for children
in any other stage because the children in the absorption stage are the
youngest. I am going to give names to my two helpers so that we can easily tell
the difference between the two. The one helper that is going to be helping me
with the children in the absorption stage is named Mary. The other helper, which
will help me with the two other stages (random response and purposeful
response), is named Peter. Mary would be playing live music for the children.

Live music and/or any kind of music that you play for children must be pleasing
to the ear. It is also important that children hear a wide variety of
instruments so they are introduced to a variety of pitches and timbres. Another
thing is that children's attention spans are very short. This means that it is
best to play only short sections of music or music with frequent shifts in
dynamics, timbre, and tempo. This encourages children to continually redirect
their attention to the music. Once you think a child is ready to go through the
absorption stage, than you can go onto the next stage, which is random response.

But, before a child can go through absorption you must make sure the child is
really ready to go to the next stage. One thing you do not want to do is to rush
a child through each stage. They must be emotionally ready. Even if it seems
like they are mentally or physically ready, you must wait if necessary. I would
practice the beginning order of step two to find out if they are ready. If they
are ready, they will start doing things in step two since step one and two
overlap one another. The way I would be able to tell if they changed is by
looking at the different things they do during this stage. In the second stage
children begin to make babble sounds and movements. These are not coordinated
with each other or with aspects in the environment and should not even be
interpreted as an attempt by children to imitate what they are listening to or
seeing, or as a conscious response to what they have listened to or seen. Adults
guiding children at this stage need to understand that at this age children
simply have the need to babble. Another activity that happens during stage two
is group interaction. It