Spontaneous Movement Response of Young Children to Musical Stimulation As Indicator of the Hidden Cognitive Process
Dr. Tali Gorali-Turel
The NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education School of Education the Hebrew University in Jerusalem
1. Levels of Kinesthetic Response to Music in Toddlers
Descriptions of kinesthetic response of toddlers during free exploration of the music.
kinesthetic reaction to music in toddlers
Study in understanding the cognitive processes causing the kinesthetic responses of toddlers during free exploration of the music.
3. The kinesthetic reaction in toddlers to music of the Secondary order
Results of Observation of Toddlers during Spontaneous Reaction to Music
2 Content: Abstract 1. Levels of Kinesthetic Response to Music in Toddlers 10-27 3-9
Descriptions of kinesthetic response of toddlers during free exploration of the music. Introduction a. Model analyzing the cognitive process of toddlers exposed to musical stimulus of the “Move and Freeze” type. b. Active listening of toddlers. c. Stages of the cognitive activity. d. Processing sensual information. e. Preserving and codification. f. Drifting and detachment from reality. g. Response time. h. Motor learning. i. Back to reality. j. Conclusion.
2. KINESTHETIC REACTION TO MUSIC IN TODDLERS
Study in understanding the cognitive processes causing the kinesthetic responses of toddlers during free exploration of the music. Introduction a. How and why does music become kinetic b. What does the kinetic translation reflect c. To what extent does the toddler‟s kinetic translation express musical source d. Who is the toddler who translates music to kinetics ,what is expected of him, from his environment and from musical stimulation in order for him to respond e. What are the “translation tools” which the toddler has and are they innate or acquired f. Conclusion
Lamadrid takes into account the mythical or magical dimension of the novel and relates it to the emerging social consciousness of the protagonist. He asserts that Anaya elucidates that the command of Curandera is consequential in nature is derived from mythical though process and it resultant knowledge. These mythical thought processes itself are derived from resolution of the contradiction that ...
3. THE KINESTHETIC REACTION IN TODDLERS TO MUSIC OF THE SECONDARY ORDER 41-73 Results of observation of toddlers during spontaneous reaction to music
Introduction a. Heredity versus environment in the musical development of toddlers. b. The musical behavior of new born infants. c. Common characteristics of infants from the second-order response level. d. Discussion of the initial kinesthetic response in toddlers. e. Kinesthetic response as a cognitive process: f. Kinesthetic energy : Definitions g. Kinesthetic expression of potential kinetic energy in toddlers. h. Randomness and learning in a state of tension and relaxation. i. The Theory of Conflict (anticipation and realisation).
j. Theories dealing with schemata -their place in the absorption and learning processes. k. The structure of musical/kinesthetic schemata expressing tension and relaxation in music. l. Conclusion
3 Bibliography 74-78
Watching carefully children’s spontaneous reactions to music for many years convinced us that music causes systematically to movement reactions. There has been some discussion about it in theoretical articles but there was no empirical research that would discuss the relation between the rhythmical reactions and musical cognition. The question of the musical cognition of children brought different developmental theories. [e.g Bambarger (1991) wrote about the reaction of children to music through painting and developed a theoretical model for cognitive process] .We have chosen the rhythmic reaction as the theme of the research because according to child development body reactions comes before the drawing . The rhythmic reactions are seeable, not dependent on the toddlers ability to speak, easy to arouse in many different environmental conditions, even under video camera sessions. We tried to trace the repertoire of reactions and movements to musical stipulations and what can the toddlers express through this repertoire. We have also checked the adaptation of specific movements and specific musical stipulations, what should be changed in music in order to see the difference in the movement reaction, the influence of the environment on the reaction, and the influence of recognizing the musical material on the reaction.
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Movement, 1 and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite are two compositions that initially sound quite similar. They are both dramatic, extremely intense, and have the ability to leave a lasting impression upon listeners. There are, however, several key differences that separate the two, including expression, timbre, and overall effect. Although the melodies and general manner of ...
The Research questions:
The main research question is : What will happen if the toddlers will listen to taped music and will be encouraged to react and move as they whish? We asked the same questions about the toddler, the group and the caregiver: their reactions as a soloist and as a group and throughout a series of several meetings. We checked 4 dimensions: emotional, social, rhythmical and musical.
The Pilot Research:
The pilot research on February-march 1995 among toddlers in the day care centers. The aim was to identify the amount of musical stimulation that will be needed to create movement reaction among toddlers. We used 2 different taps on 100 toddlers in the “move and freeze” technique.
“Move and freeze” Technique:
The principle of this special activity is to listen, to react and to relax. On the tape there are short pieces of music (20-35 s each).
While the music is on – the toddler may react as he wishes. When the music stops- he may stop or use the short time in between as he whishes (relax, watch).
The musical pieces were “cut” arbitrarily in “unnatural” spots. We assumed that this fact might keep the curiosity and the “surprise” felling for the whole activity. The music is either vocal or instrumental, from different sources, except Israeli songs with Hebrew words, in order to prevent direct reactions to the meaning or mood of the text. We have found that the toddlers were good and devoted listeners to music. They liked to move to the music, to stop the movement when the music stopped, to change the character of the movement when the music has changed. They did all this things without the adult intervention!
To discover and describe toddlers’ spontaneous rhythmical reactions to music, as an expression of their cognitive/musical process To compare these findings with earlier studies in the field and determine to which extent the spontaneous rhythmical reaction confirms or contradicts previous conclusions
Music and dance are so related closely in African thinking that it is difficult for them to separate song from movement or speech from playing the drum. In this case, the arts are a part of everyday normal life. Life cycle events including, but not limited to, birth, puberty and death are celebrated with a musical performance. Because music is so integral to society, everyone is expected to be ...
Toddlers aged two to three-and-a-half respond to music with movement. This is influenced by the mutual interaction between the music, the child’s peers, the caregiver, the physical environment, and individual traits derived from body structure, education, and the attitude of the parents and the home-family environment. Accordingly the reaction is apt to change when the music changes or when the relations among the systems change, the child grows older, or is exposed repeatedly. The toddler’s rhythmical reaction to music may reflect cognitive activities.
The research population consisted of 93 toddler’s aged 2 to 3½ in four Na’amat daycare centers in northern Israel, supervised by eight caregivers. All the toddlers
5 were Jewish, from a variety of socioeconomic strata. Among the subjects, 73 cooperated, and 14 displayed unusual reactions.
Type and Course of the Study:
The type was qualitative observational research. The study involved 17 meetings and 113 filming sessions (10 minutes each), conducted once a month over a period of three to five months (March through July 1995).
There were three to five visits to each daycare center. The duration of observation at each daycare center ranged from two to four hours. Videos were taken of large and small groups and of individuals. Records were kept of the reactions of the toddlers, group, and caregiver. A descriptive dictionary of movements was drawn upp.
Rhythmical reactions to music are both a factor in and expression of musical thinking. There is a connection between the repertoire of movements and how they are used, on the one hand, with sensitivity to music, which is an expression of a higher cognitive stage in musical development, on the other. Toddlers with a larger and more varied repertoire of movements can respond to more components of the music. The experience of continuing movement in response to music develops their capacity to construct a cognitive orientation mapp. This map enables toddlers develop in parallel with first-order reactions (temporal reactions to the static components of the music), schemata of anticipation and arrival and to use them to respond to structural elements of tension and relaxation in the music. The more schemata developed, the more complex is the toddler’s attitude toward music. Toddlers who have a richer repertoire of movements turn out to have greater “accessibility” to more complex levels in the music. It was not possible to determine whether this repertoire of movements is a cause or an expression of more highly developed cognitive processes.
Dr. George Boere e best describes the Romantic Movement in the following, " Reason and the evidence of our senses were important no doubt but they mean nothing to us unless they touch our needs, our feelings, our emotions. Only then do they acquire meaning. This 'meaning' is what the Romantic Movement is all about." There were many changes that made this movement. The Romantics turned to the poet ...
1. Movement as a research tool: Movement makes its possible to produce hypotheses about the musical cognitive process being experienced by the toddler. 2. The association between music and movement: Some 80% of the toddlers were willing to participate in the activity. 3. Enjoyment and persistence: Music causes an emotional response of joy, excitement, and enthusiasm and accordingly leads to a prolongation of the spontaneous movement, for as long as 20 to 50 minutes. The toddlers show a desire to repeat the experience of moving to music over and over again. The repeat exposure intensifies the positive emotional reactions. 4. There are two orders of rhythmical movement: The primary order involves the processing of static information, that is, movement in response to unvarying parameters of the music and/or in response to its dominant elements (dynamics, tempo, meter).
This category includes a response that identifies the Oriental style. The secondary order involves the processing of dynamic information, that is, movement in response to the combination of musical parameters and the interaction among them, which permits grouping and the intervention of anticipation. The capacity for grouping is expressed in the ability to move in way that expresses waves of tension and relaxation. Eighty percent (73 of the 93 toddlers) evinced a first-order response (the dominant movements were walking or running in a circle or straight line, and jumping).
Only around 4% (3 toddlers) showed an ability to identify the Oriental style. Around 20% (14 toddlers) evinced a second-order response. Listening to music was accompanied by movement for about 75% of them. 5. Rhythmical “intoxication”: Four percent of the toddler’s (3) displayed the phenomenon of “rhythmical intoxication.” They were “swept away” by the music. The phenomenon is closer to the first-order response in that it appears as soon as the music is played. The complexity of the movements, however, is closer to that of the second-order response. 6. Movement as an indication of a cognitive process: A close connection was found between exposure to music, experience of movement, and the building of a representative musical model. Music spontaneously arouses a process of musical thinking, which takes place by means of schemata. The schemata are a
The 1830 s have been called "the decade of the piano" because during that period the piano and the music written for it played a dominant role in European musical culture. The piano had, of course, already been popular for more than half a century, but by the third decade of the nineteenth century, changes in the instrument and its audience transformed the piano's role in musical life. As the ...
7 sort of potential and innate concept that can develop in the wake of repeated exposure and experience. They enable toddlers to understand musical elements such as pulse, beat, rhythmic patterns, dynamics, and timbre. For toddlers, schemata of tension and relaxation in the music constitute a representative model for interpretive movement. When the music is too complex for the toddlers it no longer serves as a stimulus to activity. 7. Association between movement and age: Increased age leads to the investigation of new movements. No decline whatsoever was observed in the tendency to movement with increasing age. 8. “Movement worth imitating”: Toddlers display a perpetual search for an “appropriate” movement with which to respond to the music. Such a movement expresses the waves of tension and relaxation in the music by means of similar waves in the body. When they discover it on their own or identify it in someone else they are inclined to repeat it or imitate the other person. This is the factor that creates the “choreographic” nature of the response. 9. The responses of the caregivers and their influence on the toddlers: Around 90% of the caregivers (8 of the 9) responded with first-order movements only. Sometimes this caused the toddlers to interrupt an internal process of search and investigation and retreat to first-order mechanical responses. 10. No response or a mechanical response only: Some toddlers did not respond or responded with mechanical movements (repeating the same first-order movement over and over).
Both phenomena reflect a surfeit of dynamic information provided by the music, which leads to an inability to group and therefore to a lack of rhythmic response to waves of tension and relaxation in the music. The mechanical movement also reflects a desire to experience the movement itself, to improve it, and to control it. 11. The stages in the rhythmical development of toddlers: A comprehensive investigation of the rhythmic responses of toddlers within a complete musical context gives different results than the “scales of rhythmic development” found in the literature. Some toddlers were one or more age groups ahead of these scales. 12. Variation: The movements involved all parts of the toddlers’ bodies, at all levels of movement and many of the possibilities of spatial movement. These
Walking on street in urban cities will reveal some facts about music and its effects to human. Whenever looking to street one encountering with somebody listening music that somehow making feel him good or happy. As the music spread throw world, its benefits start to reveal itself. The author Elizabeth Scott states in “Is music a good tool for health?” that music has many beneficial effects. The ...
8 movements were unique to musical activity. Great variation was found from toddler to toddler with respect to their use of the body, even when they were performing similar movements. 13. General and individual patterns of movement: Some 80% of the toddlers had a general capacity to respond by walking, running, and jumping in a circle or straight line (through most of the duration of the activity).
Some 20% (14) evinced a unique individual ability: movement with an individual pattern that was typical and stable. This pattern represents a sort of “vocabulary” that the toddler can use for expression and response and serves as a model that others can imitate.
The research pointed to the association between an understanding of toddlers’ rhythmic response to music and an understanding of their musical thinking. The recommendations relate to two areas: research and education. Research An investigation of musical complexity as against toddlers’ rhythmical reactions in order to demonstrate that exclusively first-order responses, or none whatsoever, are apt to be caused by excessive complexity of the music Long-term observation of a group of toddlers with “rhythmical intoxication” during musical stimulation and of groups that display second-order responses Investigation of the question of toddlers’ identification of musical styles as indicated by their rhythmical reactions Education All toddlers should be allowed to investigate music and movement together in order to attain musical understanding through their rhythmical reactions. At the same time, toddlers who display second-order responses, who are apt to emerge as dominant personalities with leadership abilities, should be identified and be allowed to work alone or in small groups. Caregivers should be made more aware of the existence of two orders of response and their capacity for second-order response should be improved.
9 They should vary their approach to encourage toddlers to act both with them and without them and should be encouraged to be involved actively with them in order to make the toddlers familiar with different and more complex musical materials. They should be provided with information about the educational possibilities inherent in music during early childhood and their relations to the cognitive development of toddlers. More observations should be conducted of toddlers in movement, with the aim of learning what the toddlers can teach us about their understanding of music.
1. Levels of Kinesthetic Response to Music in Toddlers Introduction
10 The response of toddlers listening to music shows a transformation process from one media to another: from music to movement. Music is an abstract and intangible phenomenon that consists of melody, rhythm, harmony, and form. It is composed of sound that among other things has pitch, timbre, duration, and volume. These pass the toddler by and suddenly take on a dimensionof movement in space. How does this happen? Why does it happen? Why does it happen this way and not differently? The findings show that toddlers choose to continue translating music to movement in space. In this article, which is based on research I conducted (Gorali-Turel 1996), I will try to explain the process, in which toddlers change an acoustic variable into a cognitive activity. This activity is expressed in a kinesthetic variable. The first stage (Acoustic stimulus) and the third (kinesthetic response) are clearly heard and are visible. The second stage, however, (cognitive activity) is elusive and invisible. In the next pages, I will attempt to learn more about that second stage by analyzing the first and third stages. After hearing the musical stimulus, a process begins that consists of the following phases: 1. Active listening of toddlers (explained by the inverted “U” principle) 2. Phases of the cognitive activity: A. Processing sensual information. B. Preserving and codification. C. Drifting and detachment from reality. D. response time and motor learning. 3. Kinesthetic response In the beginning of the analysis, I will present a model analyzing the cognitive process in toddlers exposed to musical stimulus of the “move and freeze”
11 type. This is a game well known to toddlers, in which they hear short musical segments (50 seconds each) on and off. These musical segments differ greatly from one another in each one of their components. The toddlers move in various structures according to their own choice: alone, with a friend, in a group or with a caregiver. Model Analyzing the Cognitive Process in Toddlers Exposed to Musical Stimulus of the “Move and Freeze” Type Musical Stimulus
Processing Invariable Information
A first level kinesthetic response Appears in all toddlers.
Grouping and activating a Set of Anticipations
A second level kinesthetic response Appears in some toddlers. Table No. 1 Model Analyzing the Cognitive Process during “Move & freeze .”
This model describes a process in which the toddler listens carefully to a musical stimulus. From the very moment the listening begins, the toddler can perform cognitive response in two levels: I call the first level “First Level
12 Response” and it consists of processing invariable musical information. The information includes the existence of sound, pitch, duration and volume, rhyme and form, orchestration and style. All these are immediately received by the listener and are a “cause” of the first level kinesthetic response, which would appear immediately after the “response time.” Narmour (1992), discussing adult perception, claims that: “…With the onset of the very first tone of any piece, the listener‟s brain automatically activates numerous relevant stylistic schemata in anticipation of comprehending future events.” In many toddlers, the cognitive activity ends in identifying and processing the invariable information. Their kinesthetic response will be monotonous (walking/running in circles, for example).
Other toddlers continued the cognitive process to the second level. These toddlers are capable of grouping the information into units with a common factor (motif, rhythmic mode) and activate a set of anticipations that enables them to identify waves of tension and relaxation in music. These toddlers‟ kinesthetic response is much more diverse, they use all their repertoire of movements and are assisted by their personal “kinesthetic models” in order to express through movement the tension and relaxation conditions that they recognize in the music. The two-way arrows between the cognitive response to the kinesthetic response in the model represent my understanding that kinesthetic response is an outcome of cognitive activity as well as a reflection of thinking. Following is a discussion of the results of the research according to the model. 1. Active Listening of Toddlers (explained by the inverted “U” Principle) The first activity that shows the beginning of the toddler‟s response process is the activity of listening.
13 Listening is the process in which the toddler receives and processes the auditory information. Listening is the ability to concentrate on information presented by the senses and to process it according to relevant needs. Selective listening, however, is the ability to process only part of the information provided by the sense organs at a particular moment. This ability allows only the important information to pass through the filtering system, be received and deciphered, while the rest of the information, being irrelevant, is abandoned. One part of the Listening activity is visible and can be identified by the observer. The auditory listening is concentrating physical and mental power towards the source of the auditory stimulus. Certain toddlers may turn their faces and bodies towards the source of the sound (towards the tape-recorder) even when the “focal point” is in a completely different part of the room. This response recalls the research conducted by Madsen and Gringer (1990) regarding infants‟ responses when identifying a source of sound. The expression on these infants‟ faces showed high concentration and undivided attention. The condition of listening shows on the toddlers‟ appearance. This can be expressed in one of the following: head slightly bent, open mouth, focusing of the eyes, widening of the eyes, big round eyes, cessation of movement or other activity, becoming serious or smiling, going towards the source of sound or following the caregiver with the eyes. Toddlers go through a quick process, consisting of three phases from the moment the stimulus is played until the moment of response: 1. Early stage – Pre-attentive phase – Limited listening, mostly focusing on a particular object while ignoring any other sources of information. This listening is either selective or highly limited, in which one aspect of
14 stimulus takes all the attention of the toddler and largely prevents him from noticing other aspects. The pre-attentive phase in music is expressed as the sound catches the attention of the toddler. This phase does not enable processing further information and gaining other experience other than that of hearing the sound. In this phase, the toddler is occupied in wondering about the very identification of the sound, in the curiosity the stimulus arouses in him as well as in trying to locate the source of the sound. In this phase, toddlers respond with movement to the invariable information of the music, for example to the high pitch of a musical tune or to a high volume. 2. Incidental learning phase – the attention of the toddler is given to many aspects of the stimulus, far beyond what is necessary in locating the qualities of the stimulus. This phase enables much incidental learning. In this phase, incidental movements occur, and if they provide a specific need for the toddler or are in the right time for him, he will perform them repeatedly. 3. The selective listening phase – this phase is adjusted to receiving the main qualities of the stimulus while ignoring unimportant parts of it. In this phase, the toddler is able to concentrate and focus on the qualities of the complex stimulus and delay the response to its incidental qualities. In order to advance to this phase, the toddler has to develop his sorting and selection systems. In the selective listening phase, there is a perception as well as an action of selectivity, which are necessary because of the limited capacity of the processor. The toddler develops a strategy of focusing; he must improve the perception mechanism in order to transfer information quickly to the sorting and selection mechanisms. The selection mechanism, however, must be improved in order to develop ways and
15 strategies to create connections with bigger units of stimuli. Observing the toddlers‟ listening, points to the possibility of seeing listening as the main control process of transition to and from the memory system. In order to receive musical information from the entirety, to which we are exposed during listening to music, we need to activate perception, sorting, selection and learning me(selective listening).
Miller (1993) defined the conditions in which perception occurs: “Perception occurs when there is acceptable correspondence between representation generated by the processing system and representation of the world that have been previously acquired and stored.” In this phase toddlers show an ability to stick to schemata of tension and Relaxation through their own kinesthetic response.
How Is a Toddler Affected by Musical Stimulus
16 The Pre-attentive Phase Listening limited to a particular target, Ignoring other sources of information
3 SECONDS REACTION TIME
The Selective Listening Phase Adjusted to receiving the main qualities of the stimulus while ignoring unimportant aspects of it Toddler’s Response First level response Toddler’s Response Second level response
Table no. 2: Musical Stimulus – Kinesthetic Response
The Inverted “U” Principle Listening depends, of course, on the innate abilities (hearing), on the time and place (multiple stimuli) and the toddler‟s psychological condition (“mood”).
When no response occurs or when the response is invariable, explanation can be sought in learning theories that deal with multiple information channels. All researchers agree that at a specific moment in a given period of time, the toddler can concentrate only on one type of information. According to the Single Channel Theory? Of Lagi and Barber (1977), it can be claimed that when presenting to the toddler two defined currents of auditory information, they might interfere with one another. This phenomenon can explain freezing and lack of response. When the organism is “bombed” by excess information and no filtering switch is activated, the information will not be translated to
17 sensation and therefore no voluntary physical response will occur and instead freezing and lack of response will be observed (pp. 94).
Listening will be optimal when the hearing is good, no other events are happening, the toddler is in a comfortable and curious state of mind, and the cognitive stimulus is adjusted to the absorption abilities of the toddler. In order to define the relation between the stimulus and the absorption ability, I will attempt to use a theory claiming the “inverted U principle.” During the seventies, Berlin (1970) opened discussion on experimental esthetics. Berlin and his followers examined the relation between what they called “collective variables” of visual and acoustic stimuli and certain emotional responses in arts and music. Hargreaves (1986) and his colleagues continued this line of research and came up with an important definition of music as a “Stochastic System” , which because of its aesthetic influence, depends on the level where its information is received by the listener. The crucial question is of course a quantitative one: what is the level of the received information, and according to which criteria available information will be rejected. Moles (1968) claimed that there are top and bottom limits to information, and that beyond them, the listener will lose interest in the music. Walker (1980) called this theory “The Hedgehog Theory”. He claimed that one conclusive function (the inverted “U” function”) is responsible for the relations between the visual and acoustic variables and the sensations they arouse. He claimed that pleasure increases as the complexity of the stimulus grows, until a certain point for every listener or observer. When the stimulus complexity, which is actually the quantity of information per time unit, passes this point, there is a tendency to lose interest. The inverted “U” function differs from one observer to another, but its general form is the same for every one. Walker claimed that
18 experimentation, practice, or preparatory guidance may create a higher graph (i.e. the possibility of stretching the ability to show interest in growing complexities).
According to this model, the complexity appears to be a course of innovations in the musical stimulus that persists for some time. The opposite of these innovations would be an expected and routine musical course. The fact that toddlers are capable of reacting to models of tension and relaxation in music, proves that the inverted “U” principle exists in them as schemata according to which they can process the musical stimuli.
3. Stages of the cognitive activity A. Processing Sensual Information I will not deal here with the preliminary question: are there any innate primary motivations in the nature of the human organism (not learned as motivations) that support cognitive musical activity. A discussion in this subject appears at Sloboda (1985) [pp. 155]. As far as this article is concerned, it is sufficient to assume that the impulses increase the activity of the organism and that they might serve as a motivation for learning new things. Such impulses cannot be observed directly. We do not know how much stimulus toddlers need in order to react in a certain way. We can only observe their response and speculate upon the proportion between stimulus and response. Several systems are responsible for processing the sensual information originating from the musical stimulus: 1. The system classifying non-verbal learning materials, perceptive diagnoses, imagination, orientation etc. The information is processed in one of the lobes or both of them with communication channels between them.
19 2. The cognitive learning system, in which the central nerve system creates listening and activates primary processing of the resonant-sensual information received. This works according to a system of early recognition of the stimulus (The pre-attentive system: receives information, activates further processing by the brain, focuses on the relevant stimulus at a specific moment and distinguishes it from other simultaneous stimuli.) The cognitive system also turns stimulus into models and patterns and has the ability of identification: comparing old new information with previous experience. 3. The learning system analyzing sensual information: the auditory – in the temple lobes, the visual in the rear lobes and the kinesthetic tactile – in the frontal lobes. Each one of these systems is responsible for receiving, processing and translating to movement a different part of the sensual information. Transferring resonant-sensual information into a kinesthetic system requires the collaboration of an intersensory system. Then an integrative act is required in order to understand the meaning of the whole process. The musical segments in the “move and freeze” game provide the toddler in advance with multidimensional fields of attentiveness with various meanings. Not always we would receive different kinesthetic responses to different musical segments. This fact implies that toddlers may be unable to identify and distinguish the segments at an early stage of the process. They might do so if they discover some difference between them (noticeable melody, dominant beat extraordinary voices, exceptionally high pitch or volume), especially when perceiving is expected in a very short period of time (The segments are generally only 50 seconds long.) Similarity and difference in the
20 components of the music assist the toddler to divide the musical sequence into units with internal meaning. The physical expression of this is a “complete” movement with a beginning and an end. The toddlers were able to perform this diagnostic process thanks to repetition of the segments. Connection to an elementary question in the perception field is required here. This is the question of the field, the image, athe background. The process discussed here is not a conscious cognitive one, in which toddlers divide what they hear to character and background, because in music, unlike in visual arts, the materials composing the image are identical to those comprising the background. Still, the Gestalt theory, that created the terms of the image and the background, can explain two of the phenomenon observed in this research: In some of the toddlers, continuity and sequence appeared in a single kinesthetic response although the music changed. The continuity of the response may be in accordance with the proximity law, which says that stimuli close to one another are often perceived as belonging to one another. The pause between the musical segments might not have been long enough in order to enable the toddler to perceive each one as a separate stimulus. This could be the reason that the toddler continues with his kinesthetic response as long as the music continues. Moreover, the continuity law may also apply here. According to this law, stimuli, which are successful sequels, often will be perceived jointly. Similar or identical response appeared in two sets: fast tempo and high volume (in these cases the response was increasing the speed of the movement or the energy used for it), slow tempo and low volume (in these cases the response was slowing the movement and lowering the body).
21 Physically, the level of energy invested in each of these stimuli is similar. Thus, according to the similarity law, stimuli that are physically similar will often be perceived jointly. The toddler who may be unable to separate high volume from high speed, perceives them as a single stimulus, and reacts accordingly.
B. Preserving and Codification
The second phase of the cognitive activity includes both the first encounter of the toddler with the stimulus and the feedback after every re-encounter. This phase is invisible to the researcher and could be learned only post factum, after the musical segment was played several times and remembrance is recognized in the face expressions or body movements. In this case, one can presume that the toddler preserved the information in his mind and he is able to reuse it when the right stimulus is played. Algom (1968).
“…We cannot claim that any change occurred in the mechanic, anatomic or physiological structure child‟s‟ ear, except those bound by his or her natural development. The same is true regarding the rest of the stops in the auditory-neurological route. The pure auditory sensitivity of the child has not changed. Still, learning enabled him to place his response criteria in a different and optimal manner. Changing the criteria does not happen voluntarily or consciously but is an automatic process, which is affected by the activating unknown variables”.(Introduction) After describing the kinesthetic response, I will return to the second stage and try to speculate what is the cognitive process that the toddler is going through. According to Dalcroze (1976), there is collaboration between the ear, the mind, and the kinesthetic self. Dalcroze viewed the physical experience as a prelude to intellectual comprehension. He claimed that “internal hearing” is the basis to musical learning.
22 This process can be described in a diagram:
Table no. 3 The causes of musical learning
C. Drifting and detachment from reality
This phase usually lasts as long as the musical segment is played. The toddler gets carried away with the physical and emotional response, is immersed in them and does not notice what happens around him. Some toddlers reach ecstasy and actually use the music as a catalyst to amplifying internal emotional and movement as a means to exteriorize them. The external expression and the changing facial expression may also point at a change in the emotional condition. The toddler may express sudden happiness, fear, curiosity, wonder, or confusion. In this phase, a difference is detected between toddlers reacting physically and those who choose not to move at all. Those who react through movement, quickly move to activity, probably after unconsciously testing their orientation, transferring message to the muscle systems and processing a movement plan. Lagi and Barber (1977), came up with a model for processing information according to an adapted model by Walford (1958).
This model enables us to present the first
23 part of the information processing process (input procedures) as a three-phase part. The first phase consists of perceptive information about the world and the orientation of the target or object. The second phase consist of “Properoception Information about the muscles and joints. The third phase consists of movement due to a motor plan. Those who do not react are acting according to their mental – psychological state of mind and may show signs such as: finger in the mouth, shy smile, freezing, retiring(to the wall or outside the room), monotonous movement regardless of the music (rocking movements or running in circles) or running wild.
When we give the toddler a musical stimulus, some time goes by until he responds. I call this time period “The Hiding Place Period” and it lasts about the time it takes to count “21…22…23…” Vegman (1990) defines: “Response time is the time which passes from when the stimulus is presented until completion of the movement following the stimulus. The response time consists of the movement and response time. Response Time = Movement Time + Response Time. …it was found that neurological response activity to an auditory stimulus, reaches the brain in 8-9 milliseconds, while neurological response activity to a visible stimulus reaches the outer brain in 30=2 milliseconds. Since in both cases the distance to the outer brain is similar, it seems that the difference is connected to the period of time needed in order to turn the stimulus energy into electric energy. (pp. 38-39) Following is the movement response diagram according to Vegman (1990) pp. 39, matching the findings in the field:
End of Response Start of Response Stimulus Warning Time
(Preliminary Time) Inclusive Response Time
Table No. 4 – Response Time This time period can point at the reason for the existence of personal rate of processing musical information or at willingness or unwillingness to co-operate during the observations. However, it is possible that this time period is used by the toddler to raising the question: “What will happen if I run now?” or to sorting and classifying the stimulus played: “I hear something very fast.” The other activity in the process is invisible but can be learned from understanding our adult thought processes. The main point of the action raising the question: “Do I know the music played?” and immediately afterwards – “Is what I recognize and hear X, Y, or Z?”. The question can only receive an answer or verification if the toddler has had previous experience, which he kept in his memory. If there was not such an experience – the answer would be: “no, I don‟t know this music.” The process is very quick. The musical stimulus that was activated in the experiment is unconcealed and measurable. The feeling that the stimulus arouses in the toddlers, however, was not always unconcealed and was not measured at all. The response time may change from one toddler to another and depends on maturity, temperament and the environmental conditions. When observing toddlers, one must remember that the response time makes it difficult to the adult observer (who is capable of accurate timing and quick response and who may
25 expect the same from the toddler) to find cause and effect. This lack of synchronization requires the adults to consider the time difference.
E. Mitotic learning
Toddlers familiar with the rules of the “Move and Freeze”game may remember after several times the musical stimuli and even part of their own responses to those stimuli. “Remembering” process reflects the motor learning. Vegman (1990) characterizes motor learning: “…Is a process in which the learner develops a set of motor responses to an integrated and organized kinesthetic model. Every motor skill results in a neset of organized use of the muscles both regarding place (selecting the right muscles) and time (stretching muscles and relaxing them at the right time)”. (pp. 8-11).
According to the behaviorist approach, then, motor learning is an internal process or several internal processes, which change motor response through practice and experimentation. Vegman (1990) defines motor learning as follows: 1. Motor learning is a process. 2. Motor learning is a direct result of practice. 3. Motor cannot be observed and evaluated directly. 4. A capability to respond is acquired as a result of motor learning. 5. Results of motor learning are relatively constant. It is hard to accept that the learning process itself is invisible and unperceived. We observe the cause of the response (the internal or external stimulus), in the response itself or the results of it but all of these are not the learning process itself! Certain stimuli can be measured and others can not. It is
26 especially difficult to measure the meaning of stimuli. The responses, on the other hand, can be observed and measured and indeed this is what this research does. In this section I will attempt to describe the motor and musical learning, using the terms: learning style, qualities, process, motivation, impulses and reinforcements, change and rest. Musical learning depends on two abilities: the ability to comprehend sounds as singular details and the ability to comprehend serial sequences (in addition, like any learning, it depends on the toddler‟s ability to acquire concepts and skills), because in that way the responses of each toddler depend on its capabilities. Most toddlers will react relatively quickly to the ending of the musical stimulus and after little experimenting also to its beginning. Since the music itself is a serial sequence, and as far as we know, in the beginning learning occurs especially at the edges while the weak points are mostly in the center: Madnik (1964): “It is easier to learn details in the beginning and the end of a series than those in the middle of it.” (pp. 79) This fact may explain the relatively quick learning of the beginning of the response to the musical stimulus and the end of it as the stimulus ends. The structure of “move and freeze” was designed according to the principle of the need for change and rest: Mednik (1964) : “People react willingly to changes in stimulus. This desire to change the condition of the stimulus is truly strong enough to affect learning new responses that can cause changes”…”Very little rest between singular details in a series is definitely better than a relatively long rest between complete experiments of the entire series. Rest between details is probably used to? (pp.98)
F. Back to Reality
27 As the kinesthetic response ends, there are few seconds of “vaporizing,” in which the movement “leaves” the body. The toddlers give themselves a short rest and are ready to the now cyclic process. Sometimes, it takes as long as counting “21…22…23” until movement ceases altogether. This period of time is parallel to the “reaction time” that is sometimes needed before the movement begins. As mentioned, this period of time is known as “response time” and appears also in adults (for example the time it takes for a driver to stop the car).
4. Summery The kinesthetic response is essentially made up of two levels: 1. First-level kinesthetic response, responding to the components of the music as they appear and creating correspondence between the acoustic reality and the energetic-kinesthetic level. 2. Second-level kinesthetic response, reacting to grouping and combinations of tension and relaxation in music. In a response of the first order, we can find all the movements in the kinesthetic dictionary (Gorali-Turel 1996 appendix).
The level of proximity to the concrete events characterizes these responses: speeding up and slowing down, marching, increasing and decreasing. The proximity will result in immediate responses to the changes. Movement that summarizes the tension and relaxation process in music through tension and relaxation in movement characterizes the response of the second order. 2. KINESTHETIC REACTION TO MUSIC IN TODDLERS INTRODUCTION
28 Toddlers move during most of their waking hours. Amongst the age group (one and a half to three) there is a very common and much reported kinetic response to music. In the research which I carried out on the kinetic reactions to music amongst toddlers in day care frameworks (Gorali-Turel 1996) I found that much can be learnt concerning the toddlers‟ methods of investigating and disciphering , thinking and understanding of music by careful and critical observation of their movements. This observation can provide us with both indexes of critical observation and also some answers to questions regarding musical development, education and teaching. Why do they move? This is the question upon which is based all observation of toddlers reacting to music. The answer to this question can come from various aspects: physiological, psychological, social and emotional. The paper tries to raise the possibility of cognitive commentary to music through kinetics and thus to explain the need to move in a particular and explicit way while listening to music. The second question is what is the connection between their isolated and sequential movements and the music to which they are responding. I will try to examine this question in the light of theoretical views on the ability of toddlers to grasp, to analyze and to understand music. After that I will attempt to describe the environment, the abilities and behavior which enable the toddler to signal us his musical understanding through kinetics. I will also relate to the unsolved question of which of the toddler‟s abilities of expression are acquired through learning from peers or adult guidance and which seem to be an innate part of him since birth. The object of this paper is to call upon early childhood educators to enable toddlers in their care to move in response to music and to take advantage of
29 the amazing opportunity, which stems from this – for observation and investigation. Every such observation advances us in the understanding of the place of music in the toddler‟s life and thence our part as mediators in his musical education.
1. How and Why Music becomes Kinetic Gardner (1995) claims that small children connect music and body movements and that: “It is absolutely correct to consider music as a complex gesture, a type of movement, or a direction taken by, at least apparently, the body itself.” (pp. 183).
Stravinsky, composer of ballet music, claimed that one must see music in order to absorb it as it should be absorbed. Ingardin (1986) claims: “…Music is a phenomenon specifically of movement”. (pp. 34).
Music and movement have three elements in common: time, energy and flow. And thus, the observer of the toddler who is moving while listening to music, which is likely to be a rhythmical physical expression, and is actually a “verbal” translation of part of the musical components to movement: the rhythm, the velocity, the volume. The stresses and the design gain apparent kinesthetic expression. The rhythm can be seen in foot stamping or hand clapping, the velocity can be expressed in acceleration or slowing down of movement, the scale of volume can be translated to upright walking and stooped walking, the stresses will be expressed by placing of body weight or jumping. In contrast, the response to other musical components such as: timbre, pitch, harmony and most of the rhythmic formations are less obvious. The toddler is not inclined “to translate” them directly with his body and movements. My research endeavors to indicate the possibility of these parameters perhaps being expressed in larger, more formed frameworks, with schema of tensions
30 and relaxation. Some toddlers can respond to these schema in a surprisingly accurate fashion. Gardner (1995) claims that in spite of the fact that not all aspects of language have musical parallels (for example semantics, grammatical rules, etc), it is possible to find a parallel in the way we obtain and analyze them (pp. 184).
For d‟s sake, we can use the image of music and kinetics as “languages”. Languages are generally acquired through imitation. Sims (1991) describes how researchers in the field of language acquisition found that obvious imitation can be a very valuable research tool. The same holds true for research in musical education, where the imitative ability of the child can provide the main non-verbal indication of his comprehensive ability and his productive ability. In human culture every translation from one language to another raises a number of basic questions: Why translate at all? How close/identical to the original is the translation, and if it differs – what was destroyed, what was changed and was it transformed into a new original itself? Who can translate and what is needed in order to translate? In parallel, these realizations, or “explanations” of music (which in reality is basically abstract and inconcrete) which the observer is looking at, raise a number of points: Why does the toddler need to “translate” the music he hears to kinetics, or, in other words, to transform the abstract to concrete or the acoustic to physicalspatial? To what extent does the toddler‟s kinesthetic “translation” reflect the musical source? What type of toddler can translate music to movement and what is demanded of him in order to do so?
31 What are the “translation tools” which the toddler has and are they innate or acquired? Why does the toddler have the need to “translate” the music he hears to movement, or in other words, to transform the abstract to concrete and the acoustic to physical-spatial?
The answers can be looked for in two directions: it is possible that he does this because of the nature of the music and it is possible that the fashionable educational methods cause this. As to the type of music, there are many researchers who connect movement with music. Zuckerkandel (1956) says that the tonal, musical context is in itself a kinesthetic context. The tones transfer it, and it is transferred by them and beyond them. He claims that when we hear music, firstly we hear movement. “The context of musical tones is one of movement. In other wordskinetic contexts …tones are conveyors of a movement that goes through them and beyond them and when we hear it is above all movements…movement in music is often related to the most fundamental characteristics of music: time, space and flow. Since these are also the fundamental elements of movement…”
In the US the “Board of Education” (1937) Report claims that rhythmic movement is a means by which children can experience music, understand patterns of tunes that they hear and express their own knowledge in a natural manner that satisfies them.
Dalcroze (1921) said that the body is the mediator between the musical sound and the mental construct. He claimed that it is important to have cooperation
32 between the brain and the kinesthetic I in its reaction to rhythm, height, shape and expressive elements in music. …”The body is the mediator between musical sound and its mental construct.” (pp.309) The toddler experiences the world through activity, or as it is termed by Bruner (1967) “Enactive mode” and Flavell (1963) even claimed that kindergarten children experience the world primarily through the active physical process: “The pre-kindergarten child experiences the world primarily through active, physical processes”. Metz (1989) describes the young child‟s movement as the direct ”Link between hearing and perceiving music” (pp.5) Long term observation of toddlers reacting kinesthetically to music to which they are listening, shows that long before they are capable of expressing their thoughts and actions in words, they are able to express their musical understanding through movement. Or, as Zimmerman says (1981): “The very young child communicates through movements long before his vocabulary develops. Instead of words and concepts he uses percepts and movements organized into action patterns as the basis of his vocabulary”. (pp.50) …It is worthwhile to explore the wide usage it is possible to make of movement as a form of reaction, in order to understand the musical ability of children. (pp. 50) One of the suppositions is that the need to move is a psychological urge and connected with concrete learning of toddlers at those ages. By means of movement, music becomes both personal and concrete. Sims (1988):
33 “When children move to music they experience it through their own kinetic energies and it becomes uniquely theirs. The child does not have to understand how the music feels in another child‟s body because she or he has felt it in her/his own. Not only does the music become personalized through movement, but also it becomes very concrete. Nothing is more real to a preschool child than that which has been felt with his or her own body”. (pp.10) Thus, findings show that there is nothing more concrete to a toddler than to explore something with his own body and by himself. One explanation includes the environment as a factor: One can presume that in the immediate environment of the baby and toddler, people react kinetically to music. According to this explanation, the toddler learns the principle of translation and the possibility to translate from sound to movement from his environment. Another explanation could be found in the need of the toddler to explore the acoustic stimuli of his immediate environment. Because the complex musical stimulus is at a much higher level than the ability of the toddler to explore it, he finds another means by which to “imitate” the music: the kinesthetic-movement way. This way suits his age and physical ability thus causing him satisfaction and enjoyment. Laban (1975, 1992) believes that through the act of movement, man experiences a reciprocal system of body and soul. For him, the act of movement itself is the connection between a physical and a spiritual experience in life. “The act of moving is a link between the physical and mental experiences of life…through the act of moving one experiences an interaction of mind and body”… (pp.317) For us it suffices actually to glance at the toddler‟s thought process by means of a system of physical concepts. Despite the reasons and the suppositions, which I have raised, it appears to me that they do not provide a satisfactory
34 answer. The “why” question leaves my research as an unsolved question, calling for a multi-faceted team to give a satisfactory answer.
2. What does the kinetic translation reflect? The researcher Lee (1932) speaks of the emotional state of the person moving and claims that there is a link between the gestures used to express emotional in everyday life and the gestures used in dance. “Music‟s suggestion of human emotional and moods is explicable by its embodying the essentials of those gestures, attitudes and movements which we use to express our moods and emotional…some interpretation of emotional meaning is mediated by visual impressions. Between the movement of certain musical phrases and the gestures expressing certain human emotional, there exists a resemblance sufficient for one to recall the other…this representation of music is the “Inner Mimicry”. Coleman (1922) recognizes the importance of the body as an important part of the musical experience and as a medium through which musical thought is expressed. “The body is an important part of the musical experience, the medium through which musical thought must be expressed” (PP.38) Abramson (1986): “Any musical idea can be performed by the body, and any movement of the body can be transformed into its musical counterpart. There must be an immediate reaction between the mind that conceives and the body that acts.” (PP.31) According to Dalcroze (1921) the body has great importance in feeling, acquisition and representation of musical concepts. Andress (1980), when she connects the concepts of Bruner and Eunice Burdman, places movement in
35 the forefront and claims that it is effective as a representation of musical concepts, one of the ways in which the young child can describe music. “Movement is enactive representation of concepts… one way the young child can describe music.” (PP.20)
3. To what extent does the toddler’s kinesthetic translation reflect the musical source. Observation of the toddler moving to music is not only a source of knowledge of his perception of music, but also a source of knowledge of the meaning of the musical experience for him, cognitive and emotional. However, in order to understand his movements and to decide to what extent they express the heard music, one must understand his personal kinesthetic vocabulary and the kinesthetic style of the group, which in which he finds himself. In consideration of the above, research illustrates that kinesthetic translation faithfully reflects only a choice number of musical components. Does the toddler choose these components on his own initiative? Does he choose them according to his own level of development, because of the caretaker‟s influence or because of peer influence? Why does he not respond at all to certain musical components? Toddlers respond to three musical components: Velocity, volume, stresses. The harmonic component in music, the components of timbre and pitch and the rhythmic patterns do not receive direct response unless they are grouped with tension and relaxation schema. Then certain toddlers can react to them.
36 4. Who is the toddler who translates music to movement and what is demanded of him, from his environment and from the musical stimuli in order for him to respond? Research verifies the supposition, which says that every toddler whose development is normal is able to express music kinesthetically. The first stage of rhythmic development takes place when the toddler has the possibility of developing by himself, in his own unique way. Toddlers who were observed in the research “searched” for themselves in a rhythmic fashion, a thing that no one else can do for them. In order to facilitate the before mentioned, certain basic conditions are essential: a natural, supportive environment, social permission to move (hint from caretaker, or her personal participation), reasonable space for movement, audio-tape with clear quality which does not distort the volume component. The toddler himself must be inclined to cooperate (not “refusing” or angry), to listen intelligently, to assimilate what he is hearing and to express what he hears by himself. In addition, there must be a musical stimulus of the following characteristics: Music of middle or high volume (FF:F:MF) Short musical selections (between 20 seconds to 2.5 minutes) Response time (parallel to accepted halting time: slow counting of the numbers 21,22,23. During the research most of the direct kinesthetic responses to music of a social toddler, in a good mood, during musical stimulation (50 seconds) at a very high volume, high velocity, regular stresses and clear design, could be observed, The research experiment should be repeated under different
37 conditions in order to check if they are conclusive or sufficiently conclusive all together.
5. What are “the translation tools’ which the toddler has and are they innate or acquired? In early childhood (2-4), when the mobility ability is relatively small, movement is the most powerful translation tool from the musical source, for the toddler. Dalcroze sees the physical experience as a prelude to intellectual understanding. Thus he gives musical direction to Piajet‟s conclusions regarding the principle guiding the development of the child during the senso-motoric period (concrete learning, during which activity is the incentive to mental organization).
However, the physical experience itself is complex. To understand music means – to listen to it in every sense of the word. In order to do so, one must take the time, and must organize the notes into patterns, to perceive and to understand the continuity of the notes in the tune, the harmony and the rhythm patterns, and to perceive the kinetic patterns in movement. It means to understand the musical gestures. Cohen (1980) notes “The ability to organize seems to be a basic human drive”. (PP. 259) Laban (1975, 1992) claims that man must experience the energy of movement visually, physically and internally in order to acquire the ability gradually to recall the kinesthetic experience. He believes that everyone experiences the fineness and the complexities of movement during early childhood, but not everyone is able to recall those movements later on in life (PP. 1-11 15-17).
Dalcroze (1921) sees the kinesthetic translation of
38 music as a “Pre-learning” process: awareness of body parts, balance control, ability to move backwards, forwards and sideways, ability to move and halt on command – all of these are movements which, once learnt, can be named: Responses to musical events. According to him, such kinesthetic responses are evidence that the toddler forms in his aural imagination an image, which he uses as a kinesthetic schema. “An awareness of body parts, a control of balance, an ability to move backwards, sideways, starting and stopping on command are movements that once learned can be called upon even by young children as a response to musical events. Such kinesthetic responses are evidence that aural learning has occurred…he saw physical experiences as a prelude to intellectual understanding.” (PP.309) The Pillsbury Report ((Moorhead and Pond 1978) illustrated the importance of kinesthetic experience as an organized musical experience.
6. Conclusion Part of the musical comprehension of children is dependent upon physical awareness. Boardman and Andress (1980): “Children need to develop a kinesthetic repertoire of movement through which they can express musical ideas,,, motor responses give the child another means of communicating and reinforcing concepts concerning duration, melodic contour, change of volume, and musical structure…” (PP.14) The inclination of the toddler to imitate and the fact that imitation is one of the bases of learning in early childhood, allow him to transform music into a language with which, at the age of two, he has no small amount of experience: the language of movement. He moves to the music and thus he
39 learns music. He is able to do that because of innate schema which enable him to grasp acoustic stimuli and to organize them into meaningful patterns. Initially, the musical components of the first hierarchy “are practiced” on their own and receive kinesthetic attention. At that stage there is usually no other component, which can concurrently attract the toddler‟s attention and identical kinesthetic input. At the next stage the toddler can grasp the schema of the second hierarchy and respond to them through movement. The kinetic translation might be very close to the musical original for some seconds and then completely abandon the original and change to movement, which has music in its background. In such situations it seems to the observer that movement overcomes the toddler and leads him, and not the other way around. Sometimes the toddler begins to move to the musical background and suddenly transfers the background into a stimulus which he uses for imitation = kinetic expression exactly matching the music. Social, personal and environmental factors can bring about these transitions, for example: falling, a glance from the caretaker, dreaming or over-awareness of the research photographs. When observing toddlers‟ movement as responses to musical stimuli it is possible to reconstruct into parts the four following musical components: velocity, volume, stresses and design. It is impossible to reconstruct components such as pitch, harmony and most of the rhythmic models. However, it is possible in some cases to reconstruct the tensions and relaxation models, which make up these data. Because these four are essential for reconstruction of the original, one cannot relate to the toddler‟s movement as a partial translation of the original music, but as a representative-symbolic creation which was inspired by music.
40 3. THE KINESTHETIC REACTION IN TODDLERS TO MUSIC OF
THE SECONDARY ORDER
INTRODUCTION The findings (Gorali-Turel 1996) of the study point to the individual uniqueness of etoddler‟s kinesthetic reaction. The toddlers differ one from the other in almost every detail as described here: They have different movement traits, varying motor control, each toddler is at a different stage of emotional and social development. Despite this, and according to the same findings, it is possible to register the common traits of toddlers with unique kinesthetic reactions to music from the secondary-order. The first idea arising from these findings is that these toddlers have an “inherited” musical trait, which permits them to listen in a different manner, to process the aural information and to react accordingly. This is not a discussion about the reasons for the reaction. I have chosen to open the subject with a few comments on the question of hereditary characteristics versus environmental influences in the musical development of toddlers. In this way, the two views raised in the past can be presented and combined with the present day standpoint and used as background for this discussion. I will provide further background information concerning the innate musical capabilities of children and thereafter describe the characteristics found as a common denominator in all the toddlers reacting in the secondary order as seen in the findings.
41 1. HEREDITY VERSUS ENVIRONMENT IN THE MUSICAL DEVELOPMENT OF TODDLERS
In the past it was believed that musical talent was an inherited trait. Seashore (1938) and Shoen (1940) emphasized the importance of heredity in musical talent. Shoen believed that “ all that practice can do is to develop what already potentially exists” (pp. 216).
In the light of more recent studies, we can presume today that the musical environment has a major effect on the musical development of children. Kirkpatrick (1962) found that musically inclined children came from homes where they had listened to music, had shown an interest in it and had participated in musical activities, thereby providing the children with informal and casual musical “guidance”. However, she believed that musical enrichment and fostering programs lead to signs of high musical development both in children coming from homes with musical backgrounds as well as in children from less developed environments in this field. The most accepted opinion today is that of Shuter, Dyson and Gabriel (1981) who believe in an interactive influence of heredity and environment on the musical development of children. Boyl and Radocy(1987) wrote: “Musical ability is not influenced in any considerable manner either by hearing or by genetic and physical traits, which provide a minimal presence of perception and ability. The differences between gender and race are not relevant from a psychological aspect, (although not necessarily from a sociological aspect).
Despite the fact that most of the dominant characteristics of musical ability are not yet totally understood, they are probably derived from
42 hearing capabilities, physical coordination, intelligence and experience”. (pp. 272).
The studies therefore show that heredity and environment work together. Musical ability is the product of natural factors combined with suitable guidance. One does not exist without the other. It is therefore right to presume (in a study that does not deal with the roots of capabilities, but rather describes them and attempts to comprehend them), that the group of fourteen toddlers is a mixed group with both a high and low hereditary musical potential, as well as exposure to music during their lives prior to this study. This had a significant influence on the findings of their musical kinesthetic response, as foreseen by myself.
43 2. THE MUSICAL BEHAVIOR OF INFANTS
The field of listening has been explored in depth, and is summarized in detail, in studies performed on the initial reactions of new born infants to aural stimuli in the article written by Standley and Madsen (1990).
Studies performed during the 60‟s and the 70‟s dealing with the basic musical qualifications in the early formative years of the child‟s development, examined the ability to discern between noise and the cry of another infant, the effects of frequency in babies, the capability of discerning between different frequencies (Bridger, 1961), the level of physical activity as a reaction to pulse beat and knocking (Spiegler, 1967) as well as the effect of the calming of pulse rate and metronome. These early studies found that infants can discern between sounds on an acoustic timbre basis, the range of frequencies distinguished by them was wide, the identification of differences between the frequencies caused an increase in movement and pulse rate, and high attention span was registered with two day old newborns when hearing the rhythmic beat from a tape recording of pulse beats and drum sticks. The measurements showed a distinguishing and identifying ability in each of the areas examined (pitch, timbre and volume).
During the „80‟s and 90‟s many researchers examined the distinguishing ability in pitch models among infants: Standley, Madsen, Bridger (1990), Trehub (1987).
These studies suggest the assumption that infants are constantly searching for new stimuli and absorb a varying selection of aural material to which they are exposed from birth. The innate curiosity for different sounds and rhythms is particularly important for the musical development of the newborn infants. They are capable of listening closely; of distinguishing between different sounds and of looking for the source of the
44 sound, despite the fact that their sense of hearing has not yet fully developed. Newborn infants, in actual fact, reach us as attentive listeners to music. According to the above findings the characteristics of listening to sounds, curiosity and inclination to investigate, are innate and natural traits in the normal development of the infant. In my research these findings apply only to 20% of those examined. I have repeatedly mentioned my reservations that this might be due to the technical limitations of the research (quality of photography) as well as to the high standard of the research, which does not claim quantitative results.
45 3. COMMON TRAITS AMONG TODDLERS OF THE SECONDARY RESPONSE ORDER
The special musical attentiveness displayed by them. This attentiveness is exceptional in comparison to the rest of the study group. It should be emphasized that under different conditions (such as other hours of activity, a different combination of participants) I would probably have found another few toddlers with a similar attentive ability, and this number should not be used as evidence concerning the percentage of the phenomenon in the population. In contrast to listening and hearing, the word “attentiveness” contains within it the ability of the listener to decipher the auditory codes. This deciphering requires repeated experience, but is based on the innate ability to insert the information into schemata. Their purpose is to assist in the repeated deciphering of the same stimuli, in the light of previous experience. “Attentiveness” is a combination of characteristics and abilities: General normal hearing, sensitivity to sound components (pitch, timbre, duration, and volume) and to musical components (melody, rhythm, shape and harmony).
We know that sensitivity to the sound and musical components is innate and that this surfaces in different stages according to exposure.
Facial Expression: The facial expression of these toddlers was highly concentrated while, at the same time, accepting stimuli from their surroundings. Their faces showed interest in all activity in the room and they expressed curiosity (verbal and visual) towards the recordings they heard, the activity and daily routine etc. of the daycare center.
46 The speed and extent of reaction: The toddlers‟ bodies absorbed the music quickly and directly. The speed of the regular reaction was “21…22…23…” as was the halt time range. The toddlers responded to nearly all the musical excerpts.
The ability to cut themselves off: Despite their curiosity, the expression of interest and their openness to the group, these toddlers were capable of cutting themselves off comfrom their surroundings for a short while and becoming completely absorbed in their kinesthetic response. They did this silently and on their return to the group it is evident that no one had noticed their temporary absence.
Investigation: These toddlers excelled in their ability to investigate movement. They try one movement repeatedly with different timbres, until they have had enough of it. The investigation begins with a response to one of the components of the music, however, the music soon becomes background and the movement is investigated by itself, with no further connection to the initial musical stimulus.
Consistency: These toddlers were found to be consistent and were capable of continuing their activity even after others had tired of it. Some even insisted on continuing, over and over again, to listen to the music. Initiative/Leadership: These toddlers excel in displaying their own initiative: They offer suggestions concerning the activity, attempt to change the conditions of the game, decide on desired breaks and how many times they want to hear the recordings again. There is no difference at this point in their personal response whether in the group or individually, to different situations. (With the necessary exceptions
47 emanating as the result of the differences in the space available for movement and from additional models for imitation and for play, keeping in mind the fact that when they are in a group they serve as imitation models).
They display the same characteristics of creativity, initiative and consistency in all cases.
48 DISCUSSION OF THE INITIAL KINESTHETIC RESPONSE IN TODDLERS
Weiser (1982) summarized three factors with which infants are born: “The five primal senses, the ability to move and internal curiosity” (pp. 130).
The attempt to understand the expression of curiosity, the ability of movement and the unique responses of toddlers, lead me to analyze in detail the elements of response of each one of these factors separately. In the following pages I will relate to these questions: a. b. c. What is the relation between the toddlers‟ movements and music? What is the source of their movements? In which way does it differ from others and how are they influenced, or how do they influence, others? The kinesthetic response of these toddlers directly emanates from their personal interpretation of the music. Unlike others, who wait to see the response of another toddler or of the care-givers before reacting, they listen and immediately transmit “a response command” to their body parts. The speed of the response creates a sequence of stimuli/responses, which enables them to even further improve their responses later. In addition they are well able to discern changes in the music. They are aware of changes in speed and volume, meter, stresses, form and structure. The question must be asked: Is the sensitivity of these toddlers to the contrast of the pair – sound/absence of sound and to the changes occurring in the sound – exceptional, and therefore they respond to music immediately in movement or, upon cessation of these sounds, with an absence of movement or is this sensitivity perhaps recognized by the findings of previous research.
49 Following are a few findings in the research of the fields of hearing and musical and rhythmic perception with newborns and toddlers. These findings confirm the biological/developmental basis of the apparent capabilities of the toddlers of the ages discussed here and can explain the response at the primary order. Typical measurements in quantitative research included physiological measurements (pulse rate changes, blinking, weight gain), measurements of activities (conditioned turning of the head, changes in the thumb sucking patterns, preference in toys and games) and observation measurement of vocalization and physical activity. In order to explain the secondary order, I will now describe other theories.
Kinesthetic Movement As A Cognitive Process
Music is changed to movement in the toddler by way of a natural process (Gorali-Turel 1996).
The findings show that from an early stage the toddler has the perfect tools to translate music into movement. In addition we are also aware of the stages of kinesthetic reaction ( there).
Following is an experiment to understand movement as a learning cognitive process.
Kinesthetic Energies – Definitions
Potential energy: A level of kinetic activity accumulated in the body, yet to be released. Kinetic energy: Active release of kinetic activity, which previously has been accumulated in the body.
50 THE EXPRESSION IN MOVEMENT OF POTENTIAL AND KINETIC ENERGY IN TODDLERS
The movement chosen by the toddler to express tension and potential energy involved: Clearly visible changes in the tension of the muscular system The stretching and contraction of muscles: The opening of the front of the body while raising the hands above the head, opening a “lotus leaf”, patting on the stomach, clenching of fists, wide spreading of fingers, the tilting of the head, formation of the “starting position” with the legs, headstands. Change in balance: Losing balance: Leaning with controlled stretching movements to the limits of balance: leaning forwards or backwards, raising up on heels or the turning of the body and leaning forwards (“hanging upside-down”).
The movement chosen by the toddler to express relaxation through kinetic energy involved: Clearly visible changes in the tension of the muscular system Relaxation of muscles: The closure of the front of the body, falling down, lying, standing without moving, running, allowing arms to fall in one sudden movement while patting the floor, the wall, legs. Change in balance
Regaining balance: By the straightening of the body in one quick movement by rising up or standing. Kinesthetic reaction of toddlers to music is expressed in their potential and kinetic energy. The potential energy is expressed through the tension of the
51 muscular system while the kinetic energy is expressed by relaxing movements, or by the return to the previous state, prior to accumulation of tension.
The conclusion one can draw is: From the age of two, toddlers can distinguish between different forms of accumulated musical tensions, they respond in matching kinetic models and can even consign them to memory.
52 RANDOMNESS AND LEARNING IN STATES OF TENSION AND RELAXATION
As in the early stages of the senso-motor learning process according to Piaget‟s definition, here too randomness has a role to play: A toddler tripped and fell. Let us presume that this happened at the moment when the musical tension reached a climax (at the top point of the inverted U).
We notice that after this episode, when the toddler hears the music again (the same piece of music or a different one), he aims to fall at the same point in the tension schemata. It appears that the toddler has internalized this random occurrence, has “placed” it on his orientation map and he attempts to purposefully reconstruct it at the first opportunity he finds to anticipate a similar pattern. When the physical movement (the fall) combines with the point of functional climax, the toddler‟s facial expression is one of pleasure: he looks satisfied, happy, excited. In some manner this process emotionally compensates the toddler. Another example shows a toddler jumping a moment before a particular note is emphasized. After hearing the stresses he looks hesitant and as soon as he thinks that the next stresses is imminent he attempts to jump “just in time”. It seems that in some way the jumping “just in time” (together with the musical stress) is so satisfying and enjoyable that it calls for another attempt to be made so as to recreate the activity. I will attempt to explain the toddler‟s desire to repeat over and over again the experience of recreating his enjoyment according to the explanation given by Meyer (1956): Let us imagine the feeling of falling through the air; if we find ourselves in a dark place, falling for no obvious reason, we would most probably not find this an enjoyable emotional experience. The reason, according to Meyer, is that we do not have any comodel, which can be suited
53 to this internal physical response. On the other hand, if we are on a slide in a playground, this experience would not end with the same internal physical reaction leading to an unpleasant feeling, but instead, would allow a thrilling experience of pleasure or even of amusement to overcome us. The reason for this is that in the second instance a cognitive model exists, well anchored in a visible picture of our world, which can interpret the emotional and insert them into a previous “orientation and experience map”. There are instances, when it seems as if the toddler who tripped holds himself back for a few more musical notes, in order not to fall to the floor. Thereby he extends another few notes in order to reach that climactic moment in the schemata (for example at the end of the musical piece).
This kind of motor control, which is undoubtedly supported by emotional control, provides us with a persuasive example of the probability that music contributes to the toddler‟s development. Only unknown and new experiences can provide the toddler with situations where he can make a mistake and thereby be able to choose from a variety of “mistakes”, the one that most suits him under the circumstances. The more he is permitted to experience things, the more he will be exposed to more “instances” allowing him opportunities to control his body movements. Toddlers first experience music in “real time” and reacts to details grasped aurally. He constructs an “orientation map” for himself. The repeated experience allows him to place on his map additional, more complex experiences, thereby learning not only to react but also to anticipate. Because kinesthetic responses to music must be carried out quickly, for music is an ongoing experience, these responses will remain on a low level of complexity. The repeated playing of the music will allow the toddler to use the time that passes to his benefit. He will be able to anticipate, from his past
54 experience, to which ones he will be exposed. Therefore be able to “plan” his response accordingly, not to be worried about the need for an immediate response to everything and to save his strengths thus allowing him to absorb more complex and deeper stimuli hidden in the deeper levels of the music. A toddler who has not had these experiences will only hear the never ending sequence of events, with no capability to generalize, to see and identify the similar and the differences and to absorb the total musical message. The conclusion we reach from this is that the toddler should be allowed to listen to music and to respond in different and varying ways which suit him; he should be allowed to “make mistakes”, to fall, to “go wild” and to try every possible form of physical movement. This will help him to establish “orientation maps”, sensitivity to different schemata, body control as well as a variety of movements expressing his understanding of the music. All the above was done by toddlers while using their own individual movement models. The toddlers draw upon movements that are familiar to them in order to follow-up musical conflicts and the expression of schemata of tension and relaxation in music. It is fascinating, in this regard, to see how one movement can sketch this schema, while on previous occasions this same movement served the toddler for another purpose. This fact can confuse the spectator because the toddler can continue to use the same movement (which served him in a certain instance of musical tension and relaxation) during the following musical piece in which there are no tension and relaxation models. The difference between “incidental” use and the “regulated” use pointed out above can be found in preciseness and in coordination. The use of movement models in situations of tension will be precise and well coordinated.
55 When deciding which examples to use, I considered each one on an individual basis as well as in comparison to the others. It was possible to ignore some examples on the basis that the kinetic response was not acceptable as it continued on even after the direct stimulus, which caused it ended. However, after such a prolonged observation period, watching the kinetic responses of toddlers, I claim that we must look at all the occurrences of the discussed response, and only after careful consideration of each revelation of this kind, should we decide whether the gesture was incidental or whether the toddler used it in order to emphasize a certain musical occurrence. After such an examination, we will find that in most cases the movements are initiated and directed by the toddler and minor irregularities (in timing, for example) are connected to the question of the “delayed response” and not to “chance”. This distinction became clearer as the toddlers heard the music over and over again. It then seemed, more frequently, that the toddler chose the kinetic response after he had identified the music and purposefully suited his reasons to what he was about to hear. In his review on the components of intelligence, Gardner (1955) emphasizes that, as in the different levels of language (phonology, order of words and meaning, absorption of large models – story) so in music there is a sensitivity to sounds, to lines, to structures (pp. 166-167).
Music can be divided into two levels of perception – the immediate and the long term – (see division by Bharucha, 1983, 1984) “Event Hierarchies, Tonal Hierarchies and Assimilation”. The immediate hierarchy of the flow of music includes sounds and chords; the second is not of a specific musical event, but of “departments” of events.
56 We can say that the listener is confronted by the first level all the time and this allows him to react to it immediately, while the second level demands a higher span of attention, experience and creativity. In the first level, the music is comprised of sounds: each sound is made up of timbres, pitch and duration. Sounds influence the listener through each and every one of these components as well as by a combination of them. The second level, musical sounds are combined in complex systems of tension and relaxation: melody, rhythm, harmony and form. At this complex level each combined part also influences the listener. However, in contrast to the first level, the second one does not penetrate each person to the same extent. Some toddlers show an alert response to the first level of stimuli only, while others also respond to the second more complex level. Listening, is the ability to group the understanding of direction, the formation of expectations and responses in accordance with occurrences in time, it is a response to the realization on non-realization of the expectations of the tension and relaxation cycles. The “synthetic” studies which broke music down into components and examined the children‟s response only according to rhythm, to melody etc. created a “myth” of a child responding to music on a “physiological” level – that named by me as the first level, or response of the primary order. I looked for the expressions of listening and not merely of hearing, and I found both in the toddlers‟ responses. The distinction between the two hearing hierarchies is prominent. The response to the first hierarchy places the toddler in a parallel stage to the stage of linguistic phonemics absorption, whereas the response to the second transports him to the world of words, their order, and the meanings that they create.
57 The findings show how the toddlers consistently express themselves in movement to the models of tension and relaxation in the music (from the secondary order).
The research shows this expression of movement as potential and kinetic energy: The potential energy is seen as tension in the muscular system whereas the kinetic energy is expressed as a release of muscular tension, relaxation or a return to the former state, that which existed prior to the accumulation of tension. Similarly, the findings show two different kinds of movement responses: Responses of the primary order and responses of the secondary order. The primary order responses are widespread and in actual fact take umost of the toddlers‟ response time. The most common movement is walking or running in circles. A change in one of the musical components will lead to immediate and direct changes in the walking/running in circle response. A change in rhythm leads to walking or quicker/slower running. A change in the intensity leads to multiplication or minimizing of movements. And change in the balance of the music brings about a change in stress (division of balance) placed on movement. Secondary order responses are rarer. They could be noticed in fourteen of the seventy three toddlers observed, and it is more difficult to discern what the cause of these responses might be. In order to understand the causes it is necessary to analyze the different components of musical tension and to look for the consistent response of that particular toddler to the tension. The responses to the second order occur after the toddler has digested the many stimuli and has absorbed the complete form.
58 THE THEORY OF CONFLICT (EXPECTATIONS AND REALIZATION) “….To hear music is to be flowing with time , is to know the past and the future only as characteristics of the flowing present, as its two directions away from and toward” (pp. 128) Zuckerkandl (1973)
As we flow with musical time, we discern past and future on a backdrop of the ever-changing present. During this kind of listening, states of musical tension and relaxation change quickly, caused by the conflicts in the music. J. Dewey (1979, 1985) suggests that conflict is created when expectations aroused do not reach realization. Man rebels when his development in an orderly fashion is disturbed and as a result he develops forms of antagonism, conflict and internal tension. According to the Theory of Conflict in Music as developed by Meyer (1956), emotional are aroused during listening to music when the inclination to continue is suddenly limited or halted. Through this, a tension in listening is created when a conflict between anticipation and reality exists. The anticipation is usually “What moves will move and what rests will stay in one place”. When this statement is overturned then a basis for conflict is established. Musical technique can create this tension by creating a contrast between the flowing and the static forms of the music. We have seen, for example, in the choreography of one of the toddlers how he relates in his responding movements to frequent musical “information flashes” which are in contrast to the static harmony. This contrast creates tension to which he responds with movements brimming with potential tension. On conclusion, he releases tension by using kinetic energy and returns to a relaxed position. In the Bulgarian folk song, the harmony and the melody move while the rhythm is static. The toddlers react to the change in tension through balance and
59 muscular systems as described above (retraction and relaxation of muscles).
In another example there are short melodic fragments, which are structured as short questions awaiting an answer. Simultaneously, the drums continue to beat out a never-ending rhythm. The double form of tension (between the melody and the drum beating and between the parts of questions and answers) creates a parallel form of tension with the toddlers and an appropriate kinetic response. However, rhythmic tension can also be created even when there is no change in the basic rhythm, the beat remains exactly identical but there is a slowing down of the rhythmical occurrences. The whole is broken down into smaller parts and these complete the larger units with a feeling of rhythmical events. An example of this can be seen during when the toddler responds to the crowding of the musical beats in the same time unit by standing on his head while his entire body is inclined forward in a tense manner. Melodic tension may be created when the tune goes up or down the scale sequentially or when it is divided between the various voices and is relatively difficult to identify in the contrapunct. Tension of form may be caused by internal parts in the main form which appear according to an “order” which the listener has not been previously trained to hear. Thus a new order, a sudden return, or the skipping of parts of the whole musical piece – all creates tension. All these forms of the expression of tension in music are found in the musical “text” itself, because the materials nourishing the conceptual structure of the music are to be found within the musical components. As I have described, the reasons for these tension phenomena are many and are also very complex. However, the toddler‟s ability to be aware of reality, of activity and of the discipline of sounds is very apparent. (Zuckerkandl, 1973).
60 “…In apprehending musical tones we become aware of a unique, incomparable blend of reality, activity and meaning..” (pp. 139) And, following this, to change the input of feeling and the output of emotion. Cohen (1980) sees in this circle of Preparation-Arrival a total unit. The backbone of every musical gesture and a unit of children‟s musical thinking: “…The earliest schemata are global schemata, comprising psychological circles of tension (or Preparation) and relaxation (or Arrival).
A number of specific musical parameters are added to this in a harsh and irrevocable manner.” (pp. 265).
61 THEORIES THAT DEAL WITH SCHEMATA AND THEIR PLACE IN THE PROCESS OF ABSORPTION AND LEARNING
“Internal experience is a tool, but although it is an important part of the conscious process, it is dependent on the practical test of active reality.” Dewey 1975 The term schemata has a number of meanings: For the Greeks “schema” meant “form, shape or figure” . The term “schema” in cognitive psychology applies to Kant‟s (1951) definition from “Critique of Pure Reason” 1781: “Any one of certain forms or rules of the productive imagination through which the understanding is able to apply its categories to the manifold of sense-Perception in the process of knowing or experiencing the world.” (pp.114) Piaget defines schemata: “…A scheme is what is generalizable in a given action…. Thus the scheme becomes a kind of practical concept…. Well defined sequences of physical or mental actions which form organized wholes are frequently repeated and can be recognized easily among otherwise diverse and varying behavior” (pp.200)
Bartlet (1932): “…Schema as active, developing organization of past reactions or of past experiences which is always operating in any well adapted response. New continuously contribute to the building of the original schema” (pp.113) Shiobara (1994) says that the most important characteristic of movement as a response to musical stimuli is the formation of learning schemata.
62 “The most important characteristics of movement to music activity in musical experience would seem to be in the role of developing in the mind of the participants “music schemata”, an active developing organization of past responses to music which play a vital role when we listen to music and comprehend its expressive character”.(pp.116) Shiobara believes that the schemata play an important and decisive role in the process of representation (the underlining as stress is Gorali-Turel).
“Psychologists and epistemologists agree on the following description of cognitive development: the mode of representation changes qualitatively when the child develops: Representation changes from enactive to symbolic via mental imagery, each representational mode depends upon the previous one for its development: the earlier forms remain more or less intact throughout life; “schemata” play a crucial role in Representation” (pp.116).
It is my argument that the movement response originates from schemata, which are ready to absorb musical stimuli. These schemata are situated in the area of aural absorption and perception and are on call for the toddler as he comes into contact with musical stimuli. The schemata allow the toddler, according to the age of development, to experiment through movements the experience of sounds, to encode the aural information reaching his mind through his body, as it is sorted into components. A continuexposure to this musical stimulus will result in on going physical attempts, in the fulfillment of schemata and in the practice of retrieving them. This practice will lead to a developed skill in distinguishing and identifying musical components in the future. My research confirms that the representation (measured only when the toddler moves in response to certain music) develops by virtue of the schemata.
63 The diagram below illustrated how movement, the schemata and the representation combine together to form musical learning:
Table No. 1 – Musical Learning as a Combination of Stimulus, Schemata, Movement and Representation.
64 11. CONSTRUCTION OF MUSICAL/KINESTHETIC SCHEMATA EXPRESSING TENSION AND RELAXATION IN MUSIC
One of the important aspects of comprehending the process of musical learning is the identification and understanding of schemata and their mental representation. The interest in schemata and in the mental structures began in the fifties following Piaget‟s theory (1951).
For years, research had dealt only with man‟s ability to absorb constructed musical units (sounds, relativity of pitch and duration) and to process them as accessible information. A parallel approach studied the ability of people to absorb and comprehend complete musical structures. Research combining both these approaches show: “It would generally appear that people have schemata or models for listening to music, expectations concerning the correct structure of the musical sentence or piece and at least an initial ability to complete a piece in a musically correct manner.” (pp.167) In these studies it was discovered, among other things, that people who are not musicians, are capable of suiting an ending to a truncated musical piece, to fit one rhythm to another, to complete a rhythm, etc. Piaget claims that the parallel in music is that musical thought is not concentrated at one particular point but rather relates to one unit of sounds as to a complete unit which includes in itself cycles of tension and relaxation. In the light of these findings, which suggest the possibility of toddlers‟ sensitivity to musical schemata with cycles of tension and relaxation, I asked myself what might be the mental representation constructed by the toddler from the world of audible sounds and how could this representation allow him to move as he does. The mental representation (or the concrete example of cognitive representation) is the
65 schemata of a particular example from a general group to which it belongs. This example has a more important role to play on a cognitive level and influences the entire group. The ability to handle a growing number of conceptions is a basic underlying principle to the developmental process. Literature on the subject describes two developmental theories, which can cope with the process of acquiring symbolic representation in music: 1. Bamberger (1991) related to the Figurative Representation of “scrawling” children from the age of four and up, as to the first cognitive representational process of the child in music. Relying on Piaget, she claimed that this representation is based on an active game, which leads to pre-conceptual thought processes. 2. Scripp and Davidson (1988) constructed a model of musical cognitive development in children, based on the symbolic system and connects up with Bruner‟s model (1973).
Their model described three stages: In the first, the children use active means for representation: Their physical activity is mirrored in their drawings at the time of listening to music. The drawings were termed: “Action Equivalents”. In these drawings, despite the fact that the physical activity was suited to the sound during the time of drawing, the final product does not include clear representation of the music. In the second stage, the “Icon” stage, the children through icons or imaginative figures present the music. Only in the third stage, the “Symbolic” stage, will the children invent graphic symbols or images, which will represent structural aspects of the music.
First Phase Physical
The output (the picture) is a reflection of the physical activity of the toddler listening to music.
Second Phase Iconic
The output is a representation of different musical components
Third Phase Symbolic
The output is a representation of the structural aspects of music which are made up of different components of music.
Table Number 2 – The three stages of cognitive development in music according to Scrip Davidson.
In full agreement with the two models as described above, I would like to suggest another perspective. The findings of my study might point to the possibility that the kinesthetic representation that evolved is a preliminary stage to the graphic representation and yet it also meets all the conditions necessary to allow us to see it as a mirrored image of the symbolic mental representation. Therefore, a further possibility should perhaps be added to the above model of development: Kinesthetic, which preempts the graphic on the age axis, combining elements appearing in the existing model during the first stage (the physical activity mirroring the first stage) with elements appearing in the same model during the third stage (symbol‟s in representing the structural elements in music).
Cohen (1980) poses the question: “How do actions evolve into musical schemas, which can generate musical gestures?” And she answers: “”A gesture is an irreducible unit of musical thought”. We can claim that movement of the first level, which includes mirrored images of different components in the music (small events and details in real time), leads to
67 movement on a secondary level, which is a representative product of the structural aspects in music, which construct actions of tension and relaxation.
The output (the movement) is a The output is a representation of the reflection of different components of music. structural aspects of music, and uses schemata of tension and relaxation.
Table No. 3 – Two Levels of Movement. The toddlers who reacted to the “moved and freeze” activity, and whose response to the musical components was staged, learnt the basic schemata of sound/silence, fast/slow, loud/soft, high/law A‟/ B‟, changing/permanent, beat. These schemata can be consolidated during active musical experience. At the first stage of the senso-motor period a baby must hear the sounds with its own ears and in real time, in order to think of their existence. He is capable of creating the image of the concept only during and based on the sensual perception (in real time).
At this stage he is not capable of imagining the sound when it is not a concrete sound in the air. However, from the age of two upwards, when the toddler is in his operative stage prior to going to school, he is capable of beginning to imagine sounds, melodies and rhythms. This allows him to slowly attain a selection of primary musical components which he will eventually have to improve and develop in the coming years. In this connection, the model developed by Narmour (1992) dealing with the melodic perception is of interest: “The implication realization model” (pp. 8-13 and table on pp. 12).
This model describes two independent and simultaneous routes for the absorption of melody and identification of style. One route moves from bottom to top and is the structural mechanism, which crudely
68 analyzes all the factors entering the sense system. It is built on innate and unchanging internal regulations, it has cognitive primacy, simple parameters, is, in essence, subconscious, syntactic, objective, rational and mechanical. The second route works from top to bottom, included stylistic characteristics acquired at earlier hierarchical levels. It is a cognitive process, which includes integrated structural information, it contains stylistic schemata and structures, complex parameters, consciousness, mapping, memory and knowledge, trials and experiences, and it is subjective, analogous, concrete and changing. Let‟s borrow Narmour‟s model for identification of melody and style, and transfer it the findings of kinesthetic response of the toddler to music. We will be able to say that the response of the primary level is parallel to the route going from “bottom to top” as concerns the identification of melody, whereas the response to the secondary level is the same as the “top to bottom” route. The toddlers in this study are already in the operational stage, which was clearly noticeable in their kinesthetic response to “movement and halting”. Immediately after the activity had been presented to them, they could participate in it because their minds already contained representation of melodies and beats, to sound and the absence of sound and to the other pairs of musical components. Identification of the phenomena allowed them to target in on them from within the musical gamut, to isolate them and to respond to them, as they liked. The continuing trials of the experience, which included some of these concepts, brought about the development of the schemata in the consciousness of the toddlers. The schemata include representation and imagery of the phenomenon as well as vestibular information passed from the toddler‟s muscular system to the brain, and thus the contents of the schemata may also be termed “memory”. Memory is a
69 reservoir of materials readily available to the toddler for musical learning processes. It is a place for the storing of information and is integrally linked to perception filters. The memory acts as storage for some of the elements of musical stimuli, the conditions for the making of kinesthetic decisions, the aims of the kinesthetic response and time and situation factors such as direction and speed of movement. If we were to continue this process, and were to discuss the activity with the toddlers, these schemata would possibly progress to the stage of verbalization and thus the abstract and conceptual process would be completed. In my study I have not developed this stage of verbalization because of the young age of the toddlers. It is possible to continue this research to see the consolidation of schemata and the changing of their contents into verbal concepts. Based on our observation, at this stage the toddlers are capable of manipulating schemata they have used: to improvise with beats or stresses, to divide up the beats not according to the originals, to use the same kinesthetic response for a different target etc. All this is performed without verbalization of the schemata.
70 CONCLUSION The toddlers described above were exposed to the taped music of the study for the first time in May 1995. Each child heard and responded to the musical pieces 4 – 10 times. One of the aims of the study was to expose the regularity of response to a continual exposure. It was only possible to reach such a state of regularity if relativity schemata had been constructed. The watching of video tapes shows that the continual exposure created a learning process. This process allowed the toddlers to anticipate musical occurrences that were about to take place and to respond accordingly through schemata that they had acquired during the three months. The early performances of some of the toddlers were inferior to their later performances, in all that concerned direct responses to musical elements. Some do not perform differently, but clearly show discovery of new physical and social possibilities each time. A longer study is needed to see whether these toddlers also improve in performance after further exposure to the musical pieces. The present research proves that at this stage the on going exposure served as motivation for “horizontal” experience – more and more possibilities, and not as “longitudinal” – the specialization in only one preferred possibility. Kant (1781 edition 1975) said that: “There is no apriori and preordained knowledge which allows us to understand the world. No such knowledge exists in the world and if it did, it would be meaningless. Knowledge is constructed actively through constant contact between the child who understands reality and his surroundings.” (pp.20).
Clearly, some of the knowledge (schemata) necessary for absorbing musical stimuli, its perception, understanding, its commentary and its internalization existed prior to the onset of the study in these toddlers as they were all over
71 the age of two and these forms of schemata had already been previously active with them. In spontaneous and natural processes of kinesthetic responses to music, it is possible to find an interactive learning system between musical perception and thought, physical trials and musical learning, systems, which appear to be inseparable because they are active in the body and mind of the toddler. We are only able to witness the results of the interaction between the two.
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