“Aaaaw! Isn’t this video cute!?” Yes, it is! BUT it’s MUCH MORE. It’s actually AMA’SING!!’ Let’s look at this marvelous video through the lenses of “childhood development” to identify what is “really” happening as Eli sings. I think we’ll discover that his little mind, voice and body are extremely busy. He is spontaneously creating, thinking, working and organizing thoughts, movements, words and music. So, what is Eli doing “on stage” and “behind the scene” in his mind and body at the ripe old age of 2 years old? Let’s “break it down” to see what is happening:
To begin, Eli decides to:
1. make up a song – demonstrating that songs contain words and melody
2. use a guitar to accompany himself – demonstrating that instrumental harmony can be added to create more musical interest
3. position himself on a chair for greater success and comfort – demonstrating understanding of his physical abilities and comfort.
To create his song, he must have:
1. a working knowledge of the English language
2. an understanding that a song has words
3. an imagination that helps to form the text/story of the song
To play the guitar, demonstrates his subconscious understanding that:
1. instruments can accompany one’s singing
2. instruments add a harmony to the song
3. playing the guitar while sitting is easier than standing
4. one hand strums the strings, the other hand fingers the chords
“my hands are not doing the same thing!”
(parents - do you grasp the complexity of this?)
5. One hand will be strumming the “steady beat” – or something close to it
To sing while playing the guitar, his little mind, body and voice are busy:
1. Selecting the words for the text
2. Deciding the rhythms to use with these words
3. Choosing the melodic pitches for his melody
Research in early vocal development indicates that the child has a personal pitch
center. Eli’s melodic range is very narrow because it is centered around his personal pitch. 4. Putting words, rhythm and melody together, ALL at ONCE!
5. Adding the guitar sends this creativity to a NEW LEVEL!
6. Safely holding the guitar
7. Strumming the guitar to add greater interest/harmony
This little fellow is Ama’SING!!!’ One could say, he is doing at least 10-part harmony with himself during this creative process…so many things are happening, layered one on top of the other…all at the same time!! Ama’Sing’!!!