Making children aware of sound and prompting them to listen for specific things can play a pivotal part in their aural development. The two most basic language skills, listening and speaking, sound exactly alike when we describe them as oral and aural skills. "Oral" language is what we hear while "aural" language refers to as we hear it.
Musical development is very much akin to linguistic development in that both are dependent on listening and aural skills. Encouraging musical activity can focus children on the aural. Music making can facilitate listening and the awareness of the differences between sounds. Some questions you can ask as you make music are:
Is that sound long or short?
Is that a wooden or metallic sound?
Is it a loud or is it a quiet sound?
Is it fast or is it slow?
Is it high or is it low?
So put on your music listening ears!
Laura Ganguli, MA, MT-BC Music Therapist Board Certified