Why should children be surrounded by music?

Edwin Gordon, Professor at the University of South Carolina, argues that learning music should not start with reading musical notes and music theory, but with a creative engagement with sound.


Gordon found that children should be introduced to music in the first years of their life. If a child up to 18 months is exposed to a variety of music, he or she will be ready to learn more about the world of sounds. Otherwise, the child will focus on language skills alone, and musicality will necessarily take a back seat.

Gordon introduces the concept of audition, i.e. hearing and mental processing of music sounds analogous to thinking during speech reception. Within his educational method, development of audiation is worked on by teachers during classes.


At each developmental stage, a child should be able to experience live music, performed by adults as short songs or melodies. During classes, the child experiences wealth of music by listening to short and frequently changing melodies in many scales, not only major and minor ones.

Working separately on the development of tonality and sense of metre, while presenting their wealth at the same time, allows the child to notice the differences and focus on details. This does not disturb underdeveloped skills for broader analysis and comparisons.

An extremely important feature of classes in the Gordon method is a constant unencumbered movement of the body, which enables a proper sense of flow, weight, space and pace to form.