This story helps explain auditory processing and how music and reading are connected.
Yesterday I tried a new activity with a preschool class of 4 year olds. I was using the tune, My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music to sing a new I Spy guessing game. I also use this tune in our 3 year old classes for puppet show and for our original musical version of the book, Noni the Pony. My Favourite Things is a famous music theatre tune, not just a simple children's tune like, "row row row your boat". The children starting to sing back their answers I noticed that two of the children in particular (both been with our program since just 6 months old) were able to sing back their answers also using the Favourite Things tune, without too much prompting from me. After I finished the activity I asked, did anyone know the tune we were singing our guessing game to? They thought and one proudly said, that's the Noni the Pony tune!! Yes!! I thought to myself, that is superior auditory processing at work thanks to attending weekly music classes with Baby Love Music Fun.
How do I know this? What makes me so sure that I can claim this? Well - using the My Favourite Things tune to sing THAT book..is completely my own original concept. It doesn't come from anywhere else. I created it. So, for him to connect THAT tune with THAT book means it has to be directly related to singing that book with us at class or at home with his parents. Firstly, what was happening in his brain enable him to sing his answers back to me? and secondly, to recognise that tune as one he had heard before but now being sung with different words? First he had to access his brain recording of that tune (made during our classes and most likely repeated at home) and then he started singing the tune in order to check that sound matched his brain recording. For him, that tune is now a powerful mnemonic trigger for the story of Noni the Pony and he was able to make a match of his brain recording and the same tune now with different words. His superior auditory processing learnt through music class enabled him to make that match. What does this mean for his future learning? Why I am so excited about this? Well - music and reading are connected. See the info-graphic below that shows what's happening when we learn to read words and music. They both require the brain to match a symbol with a sound. When children can access a non-corrupted 'itunes library of sounds in their brain', they have the ability to make a sound, check the sound with the brain library and then either amend or reinforce the brain recording their brain is able to access this library quickly and make they will absolutely breeze through learning to read and learning another language. My predication for this boy - he will be an early reader who will be on average 1-2 year above his peers in reading right the way through his schooling.