Browsing by Author "Trainor, Laurel J."
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ItemAssessing young children’s musical enculturation: a novel method for testing sensitivity to key membership, harmony, and musical metre(2012) Einarson, Kathleen M.; Corrigall, Kathleen; Trainor, Laurel J.Western adults with no formal music training have implicit knowledge of the tonal and metrical structure of music within their culture (Hannon & Trehub, 2005; Tillmann, Bharucha, & Bigand, 2000; Trainor & Trehub, 1992), but little research has explored the developmental trajectory of these abilities. Here we test Western preschool children's knowledge of Western key membership and harmony. We also test their ability to perceive simple metrical structures typical of Western music and to complex meters common in some foreign, but not Western, musical systems (London, 1995). ItemAssociations between length of music training and reading skills in children(2011) Corrigall, Kathleen; Trainor, Laurel J.Previous research has found that music training in childhood is associated with word decoding, a fundamental reading skill related to the ability to pronounce individual words. These findings have typically been explained by a near transfer mechanism because music lessons train auditory abilities associated with those needed for decoding words. Nevertheless, few studies have examined whether music training is associated with higher-level reading abilities such as reading comprehension, which would suggest far transfer. We tested whether the length of time children took music lessons was associated with word decoding and reading comprehension skills in 6- to 9-year-old normal-achieving readers. Our results revealed that length of music training was not associated with word decoding skills; however, length of music training predicted reading comprehension performance even after controlling for age, socioeconomic status, auditory perception, fullscale IQ, the number of hours that children spent reading per week, and word decoding skills. We suggest that if near transfer occurs, it is likely strongest in beginning readers or those experiencing reading difficulty. The strong association in our data—between length of music training and reading comprehension—is consistent with mechanisms involving far transfer. ItemEffects of musical training on key and harmony perception(2009) Corrigall, Kathleen; Trainor, Laurel J.Even adults with no formal music lessons have implicit musical knowledge acquired through exposure to the music of their culture. Two of these abilities are knowledge of key membership (which notes belong in a key) and harmony (chord progressions). Studies to date suggest that perception of harmony emerges around 5–6 years of age. Using simple tasks, we found that formal music training influences key and harmony perception in 3- to 6-year-olds, and that even nonmusicians as young as 3 years have some knowledge of key membership and harmony. ItemEnculturation to musical pitch structure in young children: evidence from behavioral and electrophysiological methods(2014) Corrigall, Kathleen; Trainor, Laurel J.Children learn the structure of the music of their culture similarly to how they learn the language to which they are exposed in their daily environment. Furthermore, as with language, children acquire this musical knowledge without formal instruction. Two critical aspects of musical pitch structure in Western tonal music are key membership (understanding which notes belong in a key and which do not) and harmony (understanding which notes combine to form chords and which notes and chords tend to follow others). The early developmental trajectory of the acquisition of this knowledge remains unclear, in part because of the difficulty of testing young children. In two experiments, we investigated 4- and 5-year-olds' enculturation to Western musical pitch using a novel age-appropriate and engaging behavioral task (Experiment 1) and electroencephalography (EEG; Experiment 2). In Experiment 1 we found behavioral evidence that 5-year-olds were sensitive to key membership but not to harmony, and no evidence that 4-year-olds were sensitive to either. However, in Experiment 2 we found neurophysiological evidence that 4-year-olds were sensitive to both key membership and harmony. Our results suggest that musical enculturation has a long developmental trajectory, and that children may have some knowledge of key membership and harmony before that knowledge can be expressed through explicit behavioral judgments. ItemMusical enculturation in preschool children: acquisition of key and harmonic knowledge(2010) Corrigall, Kathleen; Trainor, Laurel J.Even adults without formal music training have implicit musical knowledge that they have acquired through day-to-day exposure to the music of their culture. Two of the more sophisticated musical abilities to develop in childhood are knowledge of key membership (which notes belong in a key) and harmony (chords and chord progressions). Previous research suggests sensitivity to key membership by 4 or 5 years, but provides no behavioral evidence of harmony perception until 6 or 7. Thus, we examined knowledge of key membership and harmony in 4- and 5-year-old children using a simple task and a familiar song. In line with previous research, we found that even the youngest children had acquired key membership. Furthermore, even 4-year-olds demonstrated some knowledge of Western harmony, which continued to develop between 4 and 5 years of age. In sum, our results indicate that harmony perception begins to develop earlier than has been previously suggested.