if my 3yo can't carry a tune, is there still hope that she'll develop this ability? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-29-2010, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I carry a tune well and come from a pretty musical family. I've been singing to DD all day long (not for any reason, just for fun and because I always sing) since she's been born (and before!). We listen to lots of music, and she's also been going to Music Together classes, which she loves, since she was a baby.


DP is truly hopeless when it comes to tune and rhythm.


DD just turned 3, and can't even begin to carry a tune. Is there hope that she'll still learn how as she gets older? Or is it just a genetic thing, and she got DP's genes on this one? (Of course she has no idea that she's singing "wrong" -- I love her little kid singing.)


In case this is relevant, DD tends to do things late developmentally -- didn't say "mama" and "dada" until age 2, etc. (Now she is a total chatterbox who talks in paragraphs -- novels -- all day long.)

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#2 of 6 Old 12-29-2010, 01:45 PM
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She absolutely still could. I had people marvel at how well DD carried a tune at that age because it's not always typical. Evidently, there's not just the "ear" to account for, but also the physical development of the voice itself. I didn't carry a tune that well as a little little kid, and I grew up to be a pretty decent singer. It's been years, so my ear is somewhat unpracticed, and I certainly can't compare to DH who has perfect relative pitch, but I definitely was able to train it. 

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#3 of 6 Old 12-30-2010, 06:29 PM
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Agreed. My DD couldn't carry a tune at that age (and considering her parentage, no surprise there). The big surprise is that at 5, she can really belt it out and hit the high notes.


Um, I think. I'm tone deaf. ;)


(no she can - I've had independent corroboration)

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#4 of 6 Old 12-30-2010, 07:00 PM
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DD sang off key at that age and she's singing beautifully at 5 1/2.

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#5 of 6 Old 12-31-2010, 05:56 AM
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Yeah my DH can't sing either.  From what I remember:  DD probably couldn't sing anything in relative tune or pitch match at ages 3-4.  Very simple relative tune @5 but not consistent.  Got a little better at age 6 but I was worried at 6.5 that she would not be accepted at the choir I wanted to use for her in the new school year starting a few months later (price / time / location worked with other home school classes better than the available nonselective choir). 


However she had a good jump in skill the months right before turning 7 and did very well in her audition.  At that point her singing and rhythm was probably better than her brother's, who is 15 months younger, but also carried simple tunes effortlessly at age 3. 


One difference between her and her brother is that she started dance right before age 4 and consistently went 2-3 times a week; she started choir weekly during the school year at her fourth birthday, and loved it; and she started studying music as an older 5 year old.  STILL it took her to about age 7.  But she loves it.  Brother did not want these things until this year so started much later at practicing consistently.


I do believe if you keep kids in a skill rich environment, and they practice, almost all of them will become competent singers if they enjoy it.

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#6 of 6 Old 01-01-2011, 10:21 AM
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I spoke to a music teacher about this. She said that keeping pitch and keeping rhythm develop separately.

My DD is like yours. But she loves to sing, and sings constantly! You just have to listen to the lyrics to recognize the song because you won't be hearing the melody! winky.gif After the music teacher said this, I started paying more attention and realized that she is really into rhythm. She likes songs that are more like chants than singing, and when she makes up her own songs, they have a very even rhythm to them.

I'd look at that first, to see if your DD is just more into rhythm right now. Encourage it with drumming, clapping, shaking maracas, singing chants. If she's in Music Together, do you have one of the cds? Does she like the chanting ones and sing or remember those? That will be a big clue for you. My DD also likes to make up rhythms and have me repeat them back to her. Ba baba ba ba, baba ba ba, things like that. We do that back and forth to each other, as a game. Meet her where she's at, the melody will come eventually!
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