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- Music Has Biological Roots in
- While music is often considered a product of our society
- culture, scientific findings show that many aspects of music
- part of our biological nature as humans. By studying people
- animals worldwide, researchers have found that basic
- actions in humans are "known" and not "taught."
- Through the following four categories we have clear evidence
- the relationship between music and human nature:
- 1) Other animals are musical.
- Monkeys can follow patterns of musical pitches and determine
- fundamental pitch of a musical series.
- 2) Music is universal.
- Across cultures and continents, people communicate with forms
- music. Perhaps the best demonstration of the universality of
- is the communication between parents and children using
- and musical baby talk. This parent-child musical
- takes place around the world.
- 3) Musical behaviors appear early in life.
- Toddlers make up play songs and follow the beat of music.
- can discriminate between different pitches, remember the
- of melodies, and comprehend rhythm.
- 4) The human brain is organized to process music.
- The brain contains neurons (brain cells) that are
- sensitive to pure tone pitch, complex harmonic
- rhythm, and melodic contour. When listening to a song, the
- hemisphere of the brain processes the melody while the
- hemisphere processes language. The brain treats the melody as
- separate set of "data."
- Scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that humans are ready
- engage in musical activities from birth. Imagine the possible
- if parents and caregivers make an effort to sing and have
- experiences with their young children to the same degree that
- work to develop language skills. What might happen if musical
- were fostered in kindergarten and elementary school students
- same rigor as other skills and abilities? After all, we are
- for music.
- Source: "The Music in Our Minds" by Norman M. Weinberger.
- Published in Educational Leadership, Vol. 56, No. 3:
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