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Stimulating auditory perception in the preschool child
Many years of teaching music to students of all ages, from preschoolers to adults, both in class situations and on a one-to-one basis, have shown this writer the need for greater awareness in sound perception. The purpose of this thesis was to show the importance of, and provide guidelines for, the stimulation of auditory perception in first four years of life, as well as to establish the need for preschool music experiences. The intent was to convey essential ideas. Materials and procedures have been suggested to enable parents and teachers to initiate musical experiences applicable to the moment. Suggested structural guidelines for preschool music curriculum are also provided. Experiments in the past have proven that as a result of early stimulation of auditory perception, a child’s speech will be clearer and his vocabulary larger because he can discern sounds better. This improves the communication and relationships with others and affords him more opportunities for increasing awareness and perception. Potential improvements are not limited to the area of auditory stimulation but also affect the other sense organs. Literature pertinent to the nature and development of the child and the influence of imitation, environment and aesthetics on early childhood learning was reviewed. Theories of qualified educators and psychologists were investigated in published and unpublished forms in books, periodicals, pamphlets and theses. Some auditory perceptual experiences which are possible in the home are described. In addition, highlights of an extensive field study program are presented. This program included observing and working with preschool children alone and in group situations during a period of four years. The results of this study indicated that (1) auditory perception was stimulated and developed through guided activities in listening, singing, speaking, movement and playing melody and rhythm instruments; (2) response to verbal instruction improved; (3) aesthetic satisfaction increased; and (4) creativity was sparked.