Toddler playing drumsEvery child has a few special gifts that can become apparent in their early years. Sometimes it is hard to identify these gifts, however, because it can be difficult to determine what is developmentally typical and what may be advanced. If you suspect that your child is musically gifted, read on for some common signs.

  1. She can name a song after hearing only a few notes. After the opening few notes of her favorite Raffi song play, does she get excited and ready herself to dance along? She may have a knack for memorizing chords and sequences.
  2. He can reproduce a pitch, vocally, which matches the pitch he hears played aloud. When he hears his favorite song, can he sing along, matching the pitch of each note perfectly? When you sing, can he join in and sing in key, even if he sings in a higher octave?
  3. Your child can hear music “vertically”. What does that mean? When someone heard music in a vertical sense, they can hear both the melody and the harmony, and pick out individual instruments, like the bass line.
  4. He has great rhythm. If your child has a drum set, and is able to drum along with the beat of a song in perfect rhythm, he may be musically gifted. You also may notice that he claps his hands or stomps his feet to the beat as well.
  5. Does your child experience heightened emotions when music plays? Some children who are musically gifted may become sad when they hear a song with a somber melody or in a minor key. They may become very happy when hearing an upbeat tune as well.

What do you do if your young child shows signs of being gifted in music? Consider getting your little one a small keyboard, drum set, or guitar. If she continues to display an interest in playing or singing music, or focuses on an instrument, talk to your friends, neighbors, and your childcare teachers about resources in your local community, such as piano or guitar lessons, dance, or even voice lessons.