At what age could your child consistently sing in tune? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know some can do it very early, like two. However, my DD is 6 and still doesn't do this very well. The tune is basically recognizable, but she definitely hits some sour/off notes and wanders off key. DH is very musical and is all bummed (secretly) because he think she might be tone deaf. However, she just took up the recorder and is easily able to tell when she plays a wrong note in a simple tune. Does that mean she is not tone deaf?

I was wondering if this was one of those things where it just takes varying amounts of time to develop, or if most kids have this in place at this age.

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#2 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm 42 and still can't sing in tune. LOL.

I'm also tone deaf, but people have commented on my dd being able to stay in tune as long as I can remember. I'm sure it was before she was 4 but I'm not sure how long before she was 4.

I think it is partially developmental, but also partly whether you have that talent or not.
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#3 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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My first was about three, my second already sings in tune and carries tunes and has since she was only 16 months! She's amazing. I do not know what it means, though. My mom said I could carry a tune as well, but I do not have anything close to perfect pitch, while my husband can carry a tune very well but cannot pick one out on an instrument for the life of him. So maybe there's hope!

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#4 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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My son is starting to now at 3.5, though he often just acts silly and changes the words, melody, etc. so I cannot tell if he can but just doesn't always, but when he's not being silly he is mostly in tune.

He has so far proven to be precocious (often highly so) in most areas, but we think musically he's right on average.

I think this has a great deal to do with how much singing they hear. I have been singing to DS (mostly in tine) since he was born, probably if you add it all up it's about 2 hours a day. He also has a very musical Grandma that sings to him (very well) often. CDs are okay, but I make sure to sing with them so he hears the live sound, too.

(I grew up in a totally non-musical family. I could not hold a tune to save my life until I was 25 and make a concerted effort!)
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#5 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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My son is w/out any hearing problems, and still can't sing w/in tune at age 5. We don't indicate this to him in any way though, for we still love his singing!
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#6 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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My 7 1/2 year old doesn't sing completely in tune, but neither do I. I think I'm a little better than she is, but I might be kidding myself. She's definitely better than my 4 1/2 year old, whose singing is still pretty tuneless. I know I can't carry a tune very well, but I wouldn't have called myself tone deaf - until I looked up tone deafness just now, and took this online test and scored in the 2nd percentile.
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#7 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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I think since she could talk. I haven't ever thought about it as a developmental thing? We are a pretty musical family and I have always been really into singing and performing, and my father as well.
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#8 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD definitely hears lots of singing. We are a singy family. So it's not a question of exposure, although we have never tried to TEACH her anything about singing.

In case I'm not being totally clear, I don't mean "When could they sing something that sounds kinda like Twinkle Twinkle?" because DD was doing that at twoish. (And hasn't gotten much better since. Hmm.) I mean singing all the notes in a (short, easy) song correctly, with no clunkers or random key changes. I'm sure her versions of well-known songs would be recognizable to you without the lyrics, but you would not think "Gee, she sang that just right" or "That was pretty." YK?

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#9 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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INteresting...

My 7 yr old could do it since she could talk, and is very on pitch/tone.

My 5 yr old is very a enthusiastic singer...we'll leave it at that

They've both joined a choir. I think this is something that can be taught, with practice, because it's about building that neural bridge between hearing and reproducing, as well as muscle and vocal cord control. It's quite complicated.
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#10 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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Dd could do it at about 16-18 months. Ds probably could do it at the same age, but since he doesn't ever spontaneously break out into song, I'm not sure. All I know is that he could (and still can) pitch match truck noises perfectly. The child had the world's best air brake sounds of any toddler I knew!

It is partly developmental. I know that because dh's aunt was an elementary school music teacher and she was the one who told me that dd's ability to sing on key at such a young age was unusual. What I don't remember is when it usually develops. I suspect between 6 and 8. But I also know that it's easier for some than others. Very few people are completely tone deaf, but some of us have to work harder than others to stay on pitch. Musical training really does help there.

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#11 of 25 Old 09-12-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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My dd cannot sing in tune she is 9 I cant sing in tune either and I am almost 39. My ds isnt a singer at least not anything long enough to get an idea of how good he is.

I just assumed that like me and dh dd wont be a singer

 
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#12 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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I don't really have an answer, my ds is just 3 and I haven't really thought about whether he sings in tune or not. However, what I would like to add is that it is partly developmental and has a lot to do with experience and exposure. We go to a Music Together class and one of their objectives is to develop the ability to sing in tune. I was thinking maybe you could take your younger child and gain some exposure for your older one as well. We absolutely love the program and I highly recommend it. They say that there are many adults who can't carry a tune, mainly because they don't know how/were not exposed to enough music during childhood. You didn't mention what if any exposure/instruction your child has had, but I've found that Music Together has really helped me get over(a little!) my shyness about singing. Now I freely sing with my ds although I am still reluctant with my husband. And I really feel like the program has helped my child have better access to a variety of music than what I coiled have done. Just my two cents.
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#13 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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If she can identify when she is off key with the recorder, she's not tone deaf, and she likely has good relative pitch since she can hear that the note is wrong. From the sound of it she is simply not naturally inclined towards music.

Everyone in our family is in tune. For DH and DD it took practice though. I don't think DD was consistently singing in tune until she was about 8. DS is already consistently singing in tune, though he may have an unusual advantage since he has the same visual problems as me, Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, and there is a correlation between that and absolute pitch.

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#14 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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I'm not tone deaf but I can't carry a tune well. My problem is just that I can't control my voice well. When I was taking some somewhat serious voice lessons, I was better but I've since gotten a lot worse. I just don't have control over the vocal chords haha.

I know when I don't sound very good.. I just can't seem to master the control to fix it.
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#15 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I know some can do it very early, like two. However, my DD is 6 and still doesn't do this very well. The tune is basically recognizable, but she definitely hits some sour/off notes and wanders off key. DH is very musical and is all bummed (secretly) because he think she might be tone deaf. However, she just took up the recorder and is easily able to tell when she plays a wrong note in a simple tune. Does that mean she is not tone deaf?

I was wondering if this was one of those things where it just takes varying amounts of time to develop, or if most kids have this in place at this age.
Uh yeah. I have never been able to sing in tune. I am not tone deaf, just not musical at.all. I have very poor control over my voice while singing. And nice to see I'm not the only one!!!! One of my favorite things about having a child is that I can sing with her and she doesn't care what I sound like.

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#16 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She goes to a performing arts school, so she is getting lots of instruction (though she is only in first grade). She enjoys singing and sings a lot...she just isn't in tune. I read up some more, though, and I doubt she is tone-deaf now. I think she just doesn't have control of her voice yet/is not naturally talented in this.

I actually gave her an online test of music discrimination. (a different one than Daffodil references above). She thought it was fun, and scored 20/30 on the tone portion and 28/30 on the rhythm section. Definitely did better on the rhythm one, but to be fair, it wasn't that easy a test for a 6yo, relying a lot on memory.

ETA that this is is the test I gave her:

http://www.delosis.com/listening/home.html

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#17 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 10:08 AM
 
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I'm interested in the question because I've wondered if DD has some singing talent - or not, lol.

Sometimes she will be singing so well that we look at each other and say "hmm, she's got some talent" and then she'll hit a bad note

I'm thinking about enrolling her in singing lessons (grandma's treat), just because she enjoys singing so much.

FTR, being tone deaf and not being able to sing are not the same thing. I don't have any voice talent, but when I "exercise" my ear I am extremely good at hearing tone (despite being legally deaf). I have always been able to tune a guitar, even one wildly out of tune (stored in an attic, whatever) by ear, never need a pitch pipe. I even remember in 7th grade music class the teacher discovered she could hit a note on the piano and I could name the note. (Not instantly, I'm not a genius at it, but I could think about it and then figure it out).

But hearing the tones well has nothing to do with how well I sing - or how well I play the guitar, or violin or flute either. (Which is, um, not that well).

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#18 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 10:09 AM
 
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My kids both did at 3.
DH is totally out of tune, but plays the guitar well. He has a great time anyway. I try to help him, and I dont think it can be fixed.
I was also secretly hoping that my kids could sing. I think its just a matter of luck.
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#19 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 10:18 AM
 
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I still can't! But my 2 yo can. It all depends on the child.

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#20 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
She goes to a performing arts school, so she is getting lots of instruction (though she is only in first grade). She enjoys singing and sings a lot...she just isn't in tune. I read up some more, though, and I doubt she is tone-deaf now. I think she just doesn't have control of her voice yet/is not naturally talented in this.

I actually gave her an online test of music discrimination. (a different one than Daffodil references above). She thought it was fun, and scored 20/30 on the tone portion and 28/30 on the rhythm section. Definitely did better on the rhythm one, but to be fair, it wasn't that easy a test for a 6yo, relying a lot on memory.

ETA that this is is the test I gave her:

http://www.delosis.com/listening/home.html
I took the test, with my 3 yo talking to me and Nick Jr in the background, and got a 29/30 on both......BUT, when I sing, I have clunkers all the time

She may not be naturally talented, or she may just be 6. Honestly, when my kids sing, I swear they have the voices of angels But I have no idea if they are technically in tune.

I'd encourage your husband to just enjoy his daughter's ever-so-fleeting childhood voice, and not make any premature judgments about her talents of limitations. It seems a little extreme that he worried about her being tone deaf when she can sing recognizable melodies.
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#21 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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I got 19/30 on the first, and 29/30 on the second. I am so bad at this kind of thing. I love the test, though. People are always telling me my dd has a beautiful singing voice and perfect pitch and I can't honestly tell. I will be interested in how she does.
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#22 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd encourage your husband to just enjoy his daughter's ever-so-fleeting childhood voice, and not make any premature judgments about her talents of limitations. It seems a little extreme that he worried about her being tone deaf when she can sing recognizable melodies.
ITA with you, but he seems to be kind of worked up on this subject. His family is really very, very musical and they all used to sing together all the time as kids. In fact, they appeared in musicals together a couple of times. I would like to be able to tell him that it's semi-normal at this age so he would stop making comments about it (to me only, of course). He tells me he feels like I would feel if the kids didn't like books (since I am a huge reader)--it's sad to him that she doesn't share this with him. But she LIKES music okay--again, I would say she has an average amount of interest in it.

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#23 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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This sounds vaguely like the plot of Mr. Holland's Opus. I hope he's able to get past this expectation, because it isn't fair to expect kids to have any particular talent. Either they do or they don't, and they have no control over it. You said he's just talking to you about it so maybe he's just processing the possibility and working through things. And who knows what talents she could have. I'm sure he'd be thrilled and proud to learn she had amazing talents as far as visual arts go, or in sports, or in mathematics, or in any other area.
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#24 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Getting kind of OT, but:

DH is a great dad--this is one of the few times I've been bothered by an attitude/issue of his regarding the kids. She has no idea he feels this way, and yes, I think he is working it through with me, but I would kind of like to stop hearing about it, TBH, because it does make me feel like he has unfair expectations. So what if she can't sing in tune, YK? And yes, she has other wonderful talents, including a huge gift for art, which is also a gift of his. She also has a marvelous gift for animal and plant identification like DH and is a major nature-lover, just like DH. They actually have a lot in common. So I don't know why this is such a big deal.

I guess it's just that this is such a major interest of his. At heart he is a frustrated musician, I think, and he also has recently developed some kind of throat/vocal cord condition that causes HIM to be unable to sing for any period of time. So...there's a lot there, huh.

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#25 of 25 Old 09-13-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
I actually gave her an online test of music discrimination. (a different one than Daffodil references above). She thought it was fun, and scored 20/30 on the tone portion and 28/30 on the rhythm section. Definitely did better on the rhythm one, but to be fair, it wasn't that easy a test for a 6yo, relying a lot on memory.

ETA that this is is the test I gave her:

http://www.delosis.com/listening/home.html
Oh, so the second part was a rhythm test! I ended up doing that one last night too, but they didn't explain what you were supposed to be listening for on the second part. I thought a bunch of them sounded like they had different rhythms, but I wasn't sure if I was supposed to be listening to that or to the tones, or if different pairs were different in different ways. Now that I know, I bet I could get a better score (I got 19/30 on the first part and 16/30 on the second part), though I suppose the fact that it wasn't obvious to me how the pairs differed indicates how bad at this I really am.
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