Well, that's interesting.
My recently three year old son doesn't speak much, and his language is not very clear. He has been in speech therapy as well as OT and PT for over a year, and is doing very very well, but it's absolutely not there for him at an age appropriate level. Except that last night, I decided to sing some lullabies to the kids as they were antsy (not uncommon, I sing with them a lot) and in the middle of my singing, he decided to sing as well- on pitch with flawless pronunciation. Every. Word. I stopped singing, and he continued. I named another song, and he sang that- again crystal clear with complete words properly enunciated.
I decided to experiment a little this morning and tried out a couple songs in other languages with him, and while he did well, he was struggling to pronounce words he'd not heard before. He had the pitch, but the words weren't clear. In English- I introduced a couple new songs and he picked those up flawlessly the first time through.
Anyone have experience with a child who has a language delay being able to sing a language clearly well before they speak it clearly? Obviously, I'm happy to have found another tool to help work on language with him, but I'm a bit taken aback by how suddenly this came about.
DS3, who has an expressive language disorder (in his case he started speaking at the regular time but had to use way more all purpose words like 'thing", "stuff","that goes like", as well as having weird sentence structure and pronunciation) also sang way more clearly than when he spoke. I also bumped into this working with a boy with William's disorder, and with Alzheimer's patients. Music is processed in a different part of the brain than straight language tasks, so it can help people access language via a different route that may be stronger for them. We use songs a lot with DS (now 7) for memorizing tasks like phone numbers and time concept words like days of the week and months of the year.
There was a famous opera singer whom sung beautifully, but could not speak due to such severe stuttering he was inpossible to understand.
Signing and speaking are seperate parts of the brain. Which is why he is able to sing, but not speak.
My DD has difficulty in walking, but she can dance wonderfully. Different muscle memory, different movement patterns memorized in the brain.