The Child as Musician: A handbook of musical development

Gary Mcpherson (Editor)

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook


This book is a handbook of musical development from conception to late adolescence. Within twenty-four chapters it celebrates the richness and diversity of the many different ways in which children can engage in and interact with music. Arranged in five sections, the first section examines the critical months and years from conception to the end of infancy. It looks at how the musical brain develops, ways of understanding musical development, and the nature of musicality. Section two scrutinizes claims about the non-musical benefit of exposure to music, for example that music makes you smarter. Section three focuses on those issues that help explain and identify individual differences. It includes chapters examining how children develop their motivation to study music, and two chapters on children with special needs. Section four covers skills that can develop as a result of exposure to music. The final section of the book discusses five different contexts and includes: a chapter on historical perspectives providing information for making comparisons between how children have learned and developed their musical capacities in the past, with current opportunities; two additional chapters that focus on children's involvement in music in non-Western cultures; and two final chapters focusing on youth musical engagement and the transition from child to adult.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780198530329
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • musical development
  • youth musical engagement
  • non-Western music
  • children and music
  • special needs
  • musicality
  • adolescence
  • conception
  • music


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