Thursday, May 19

dear verb or anyone else that might know,

Last night my 3yo taught herself to play "twinkle twinkle" on her piano all by herself. she was alone in her room and I was sitting in the living room when I heard the song played and immediately then heard her play it again in an octave higher. is this normal toddler behavior? we've planned piano lessons to stat mid-june, that's why there's a piano in her room right now.



sparky said...

the child is obviously a savant who will soon be touring europe making millions!

now for a stage name, ah , i think i have it. Baby GaGa!

ok so it sounds stupid but so did The Beatles but that sure worked!

Best of luck with your new found fortune Jilly and lets all hope Harold Camping is wrong or none of this will matter beyond saturday.

Spidey said...

not normal. lucky you. not normal is good. she has a talent. embrace it.

Jenny Robin said...

Your daughter is well ahead of her peers in this regard. Far, far ahead of her peers.

Most kids that age can bang on an instrument and make sounds, but that is very different from figuring out a melody on her own based on what she knows/has heard and then playing it an octave higher!

vq said...

I think it's normal-- for a child with musical talent (which not every child has.) It means she clearly hears and recognizes pitch all on her own. I believe all children can be taught to hear pitch, but lucky ones come into the world already able! She has a musical gift, and you can start to develop it now!

I personally don't think she's old enough to benefit from piano lessons yet (developmentally, children do best waiting to learn until they are starting to read. Second grade is a good time to start.)

However, a "mommy and me" or other toddler music experience would be GREAT to begin developing her gift. See if you can find a Kindermusik program in your area.

As far as what you can do at home to develop her gift--play pitch matching games with her. With my toddler choir, we use pitch matching games to begin to teach the concept. I have a mouse finger puppet and an elephant puppet, and I have the mouse sing "hello" to them in a descending minor third (this is the "ding-dong" third that most doorbells use) in a very high voice and ask them to sing it back to the mouse in just the same voice. Then I have the elephant sing it to them at a much lower pitch, and ask them to sing hello back to the elephant in the same low voice.

Sometimes I have puppets ride a "roller coaster" around the circle of seated children by swooping the puppet up and down, and I ask them to follow the "ride" with their voices on an "ooh" syllable.

For roll call, I sing their names in little tunes, say Mary Had a Little Lamb, for example, and ask them to sing back to me "I am here" in the same little tune.

Encourage her to sing along with you, find sing-along videos or CDs, stuff like that. You could also buy rhythm instruments and the two of you could play along with recorded music. I use rhythm sticks, drums, guiros, finger cymbals, stuff like that, extensively with my choir kids.

I'm excited for her--and you! There's a whole world of music waiting for her out there!

vq said...

P.S. Sorry for the wordy reply, As you can tell, I am passionate about teaching kids music! Wish we lived closer so I could help you encourage her gift!

Jilly said...

the m-i-l is teaching the piano lessons and got the piano for her. the m-i-l's been teaching piano for decades and has assured me that she "knows what she's doing." i plan to sit in the other room reading my book while they fight it out. i had music lessons at school, when the school offered beginning band, but toddlers and then piano + toddlers together is outside my scope. apparently there is a "work book" for toddler lessons. i wish her luck getting the kid to go along with that. missm makes up her own rules and has recently developed a hatred of coloring books b/c she'd rather make her OWN picture.

we're in for a bumpy ride. i can her missm learning enough to skip playing other people's songs and going right to making her own.

vq said...

At any rate, it certainly can't hurt anything, and it's wonderful for her to have a piano, so don't look a gift horse and all that, right?

UrbanStarGazer said...

Wowee, I'm impressed and jealous. I LOVE music but I'm pretty sure I'm tone deaf.

Catz said...

That's awesome.