Friday, April 17, 2009

Speaking Without Words

Later this month, the preschool Kindermusik classes will begin studying a unit called Feel the Music. We will be focusing on the emotions that are conveyed through various songs. Understanding emotion and body language is a new skill for preschool children, and they need plenty of opportunity for exploration in order to fully master the skill. Music listening can be a great outlet for this exploration, since musical expression plays such a fundamental role in invoking emotion.

I found an interesting study released in March on this same topic of music listening and emotional exploration. Thomas Fritz, Stefan Koelsch, and their colleagues wanted to find out whether the emotional aspects of Western music could be appreciated by people who had no prior exposure to it. They traveled to Africa, north of the Mandara mountain ranges and played Western music for the people there. They, then, asked if the listener felt the music portrayed a happy, sad or fearful emotion. "In conclusion," the researchers wrote, "both Mafa and Western listeners showed an ability to recognize the three basic emotional expressions tested in this study from Western music above chance level. This indicates that these emotional expressions conveyed by the Western musical excerpts can be universally recognized, similar to the largely universal recognition of human emotional facial expression and emotional prosody."

1 comment:

Louisette passion retriever, cat, memory Katanga said...

Interesting blog,
best regard from Belgium