Musical Lives of Infants

Mayumi Adachi and Sandra E. Trehub

in The Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 1

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199730810
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Musical Lives of Infants

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  • Music Education and Pedagogy



In recent years there has been increasing interest in and speculation about infants' natural propensity for music, their ease of learning, and their musical environment. This interest has fueled a new frontier of music education or intervention aimed at infants, parents, and, in some cases, expectant parents. This article summarizes the available information on responsiveness to music and on music learning both before and after birth. It also considers the limited data on emerging music production skills and early musical environments provided by contemporary urban parents. In addition, the article provides a glimpse of interventions designed to alter the natural musical landscape. Current evidence is consistent with the view that infants are naturally receptive to music and are capable of learning from incidental as well as intentional exposure to music. What remains unresolved is the utility or merit of prenatal and early postnatal musical interventions aimed at enriching the lives of infants and their parents.

Keywords: musical ability; music learning; music education; musical interventions; parents

Article.  7746 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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