What can infants hear? What are their reactions to music? Johannella Tafuri considers these and other questions

What can infants hear? What are their reactions to music? Is it useful for them to sing and listen to music? Is their auditory sensitivity developed before their birth? At what age do they start singing, and clapping their hands? How can their musical development be improved?

In 1998 Johannella Tafuri began a longitudinal research project devoted to studying the musical development in children from 0 to 6 years, with particular attention on the ability to sing in tune, and her book Infant Musicality is the result of this long term project. It has been very positively received, and has been selling well since its publication early in 2009.


This is a very important book I recommend to everybody – not only to music educators and parents – interested in and fascinated by the musical capacities inherent in every child. This impressive project clearly demonstrates the importance of music, in all its forms, in the homes and lives of very small, even still unborn, children and should encourage all parents, whether they regard themselves as musical or not, to sing to their children and interact with them in music.

Göran Folkestad, Lund University, Sweden

Johannella Tafuri’s life work is to understand more deeply how infants benefit from formal and informal exposure to music. Her longitudinal studies, some of the most interesting and useful on the topic, provide a thoughtful, scholarly and practical account of early musical development with a special emphasis on infants’ singing ability. Tafuri has produced an immensely important contribution to the literature. Each chapter encouraged me to think, reflect, and above all, celebrate this remarkable stage of infants’ development.

Gary McPherson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

The book will be of crucial interest to parents and nursery/kindergarten educators so that they can have scientific, theoretical and methodological foundations for their educational strategies, as well as being of considerable interest to all musical educators, irrespective of the age of their pupils: a good knowledge of the first stages of musical development can permit a better evaluation and a fulfilment of later educational needs in music.

Contents: Foreword, Graham Welch; Introduction: the reasons for a research study; Part I Musical Development: The literature on musical development from 0 to 3 years of age; The inCanto project; Procedures and results; The parents have their say. Part II From Research to Teaching Practice: Promoting musical development; Suggestions for musical activities; Postlude, Johannella Tafuri and Donatella Villa; Appendix; References; List of audio and video recordings; Index.

About the Author: Johannella Tafuri is Professor of Music Education at the Conservatorio di Musica “G.B. Martini” di Bologna, Italy

For full information about the book, including sample pages, visit the Ashgate website, where you can also find other books we publish in the area of music education, research, teaching and practice.

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