Gareth was a musical baby. He loves music and he reacts strongly to it. Although many children respond well to music, I like to think that Gareth has a stronger than average affinity for music that signifies some innate musical potential. Naturally, I’ve been trying to find ways to develop his musical interest and have been employing various methods including music iPhone/iPad apps.
I was waiting to try Little Musician with him. Unfortunately, it has yet to be launched (hopefully sometime later in the year). Then I noticed he was responding very well to the music part of his TweedleWink lesson, especially with the tuning forks, so I bit the bullet and got him a set of tuning forks (also available from the Right Brain Kids shop) to continue his perfect pitch training at home.
Perfect pitch training with the tuning forks appears to be similar to the Red Dot Math program (see Doman’s Math Method and Shichida’s 65 Day Math Program) where the optimum time for introducing the program is before the age of 3. Although you can do the program with an older child, I have been made to understand that it is better to begin before the age of 3. I assume that means that your success rate is better if you started before your child has turned 3. Since the investment of the tuning forks is not a small one, I guess that is also why they don’t usually recommend the program for older children. However, as with all educational programs, with a dedicated, loving parent and a receptive child, anything is possible.
That said, you can still do this program without tuning forks as long as the tools you use are capable of producing the correct frequencies. A well-tuned piano (make sure you get your piano tuned regularly or you mignt end up teaching your child incorrect frequencies), a high-precision xylophone (that means not a toy xylophone), and other similar instruments can be used in place of the tuning fork. The benefit of using tuning forks is that it also allows your child to feel the vibration of each frequency adding a tactile component to your program as well as an auditory and visual one.
What’s involved in the tuning fork perfect pitch program?
It is a pretty simple program that doesn’t require a lot of time. Introduce each musical note to your child with the corresponding tuning fork. Let your child listen to the sound of the frequency. Let your child feel the vibration of the frequency. Play the frequency on various objects (you can do this by touching the tuning fork to a variety of objects, e.g. paper, a wooden board, etc.). Let your child see the corresponding musical notation. If you have any instruments at home, you can also show your child how to produce the same frequency on those instruments.
Once your child has gone through the entire octave, you can teach your child the difference between two musical notes, e.g. C and C sharp, C and D, C and D sharp, etc.