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Adults recognize toddlers’ song renditions

Adults recognize toddlers’ song renditions

Title: Adults recognize toddlers’ song renditions
Author: Gudmundsdottir, Helga
Trehub, Sandra
Date: 2017-07
Language: English
Scope: 281-291
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Education (UI)
Series: Psychology of Music;46(2)
ISSN: 0305-7356
1741-3087 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1177/0305735617711762
Subject: Toddlers; Early childhood; Singing; Söngur; Ungbörn
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1000

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Gudmundsdottir, H., & Trehub, S. (2018). Adults recognize toddlers’ song renditions. Psychology of Music, 46(2), 281–291. https://doi.org/10.1177/0305735617711762


The present study explored the singing ability of toddlers 16 months to 3 years of age by examining North American adults’ ability to identify toddlers’ renditions of familiar tunes sung with foreign lyrics. After listening to each toddler’s song, half with familiar melodies and half with unfamiliar melodies, adults attempted to name the songs. Their identification was highly accurate, refuting the prevailing view that toddlers focus on words at the expense of tunes. The singing range of these nonEnglish-speaking toddlers and that of their English-speaking counterparts approximated the pitch range of the target songs, which is inconsistent with the reportedly small singing range of toddlers. Toddlers’ apparent singing proficiency in the present context may stem from the use of home-based recordings and child-selected songs.


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