Caught in Class: The “Singing Sigh”

3 Feb

After class today, an almost-one-year-old little girl and her mom were the last ones in the room, getting bundled up to head out into the snow. With everyone else gone (now free to be herself without all those other people around!), the child did a little “singing-babble” — sighing two notes, connected together by a downward swoosh. “Ahhhh-ah. Ahhhh-ah.” This two-pitch sigh is a definite stepping stone on the musical development pathway. Each time, she started on one pitch and then sighed down to the second pitch, which was always a fifth down from where she started. (That music-speak: A musical “fifth” is five scale-steps. Think: Do-re-mi-fa-sol. 1-2-3-4-5. In this case, since she was coming down from the starting pitch, she was sighing from 5 to 1, or from “sol” to “do.”) If your child is under two-years-old, t’s a neat thing to look out for. When you catch your child doing this kind of “singing sigh,” imitate it right back to her/him. The more you reinforce it, the more she/he will do it! Pretty soon, you’ll recognize your child moving from the sigh to singing those two separate notes, detached from one another. That’s the next stepping stone, and it’ll be so cool to catch your child moving along her/his musical pathway.

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