Music is a Language
One of life’s greatest joys starts with the first moments a child speaks to his or her parent. Whether it is the first smile, or the first word, the excitement of learning to speak is wondrous. Learning a language opens the door to so many things we enjoy. We hear words spoken. We read what is written. We feel the words we speak. Language is a remarkable skill.
The normal path for learning a language begins with the sounds we hear during infancy through our toddler years. During this time we listen and memorize these sounds. We then learn to imitate them to talk to the world around us. This process takes time. In most of the world, at some point children are then introduced to an alphabet so they can understand the language they speak when it is written. This ability to see the words takes us to a whole new level of enjoying language beyond the spoken word. We begin to “hear” in our minds the words we see, just as you are now doing with this information.
Music skills are a lot like language skills. We hear music. We feel music. We can learn how to make music.
One of the best features of The Developing Ears is its use of musical ladders to teach pitch. When we know how many steps a stepladder holds, we know how tall that ladder is. We can see its height. When we know how many steps it takes to climb from one note to another note we can better hear the difference between those notes. Without knowing the distance between notes we become pitch challenged, and cannot hear melody as well as we could. The musical ladders found in The Developing Ears teach the mind to hear the distance between notes. Pitch height structures are ingrained in the ear so the sounds of music come from within. We can then more clearly hear the height of the notes in the songs we enjoy. Since good things tend to take time, The Developing Ears can be played as a soft backdrop to regular daily activities to give the time it takes for the ear to learn.
Imagine the challenge of learning to read and write if at the same time we had never learned what the words we will be reading sound like.
Some of us may learn to perform and read music. Some of us may not, but most of us will enjoy music in some way. Listening to music is a skill we learn. Yet, so many times the paths we are offered to learn that skill are not as simple as we would like. Instead of having the chance to listen to and memorize the sounds that the language of music is made from, we step right into how those sounds are used. Instead of getting the ear grounded on how many notes there are, and how the notes sound when compared to each other, we take on more complicated arrangements of those notes. Even musicians can find musical pitch challenging.