Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Audiation is F-N!

We've discovered this week that Sam is beginning to audiate.

While that might not seem like such a big deal, to musicians it is a vitally important skill that we have to develop. It's easiest to think of audiation like the inner monologue. Kids all go through a period where they say anything that pops into their heads. Take, for instance, when we ask Sam what an object is in one of his books. He'll look at it and say, "what is it? don't know. it's an elephant!" He thinks about the question and a possible answer and then spits out the right answer. We go through this process in our heads when we are older, but right now Sam doesn't carry on conversations with himself in his head; they all occur out loud.

It's the same way with music. We aren't born with the ability (and the curse) of getting songs stuck in our heads. We can't "hear" music in that way until we are trained to do so. Kindermusik works on this a lot, as do songs like "Bingo." Remember that one? You sing about the dog's name and progressively take out one letter, so B-I-N-G-O was his name-o becomes -I-N-G-O and --N-G-O and so on. When you sing it you hear the missing sound in your head in rhythm and then keep going.

Yesterday Sam was a little fussy before lunch, so I picked him up and sang a made-up song about us having pizza for lunch while rocking back and forth with him. Sam loved it so much that at lunch, he kept singing the song. And at one point, he even rocked back and forth in perfect time while nodding his head. He was clearly singing "pizza for lunch" in his head.

An exciting day for us, but one Sam will look back on and curse when he, like me this week, can't get "Michael (Jump In)" stuck in his head.


Stephen said...

There are times when I listen to that song three or four times in a row.

Andrew said...

If you count the times "Jump in, let's save the world" runs through my head, I probably listen to it 10 times in a row. Of course, sometimes "All the zombies in the house say O-o; urrrrrr" gets stuck in there too.