Posted by Mindy

Here is a lovely arrangement of the French Medieval melody “Picardy,” also known as “Let all mortal flesh keep silent.”  Enjoy the sonority of the English horn partnered with the pipe organ.  Below is a listening activity which I discovered while reading through Don Campbell’s fascinating book, “The Mozart Effect for Children.” Why not try this out while listening to Picardy?  My approach will be to move the sound source (my laptop), as opposed to rotating the child.

You can listen to “Picardy” here.

 

In his book The Mozart Effect for Children Don Campbell dedicates a chapter to the musical development of children ages six to eight years. Here Campbell discusses the neurological development of children during this period and the ensuing academic implications. I was especially interested in the following excerpt. I’m looking forward to doing this music exercise myself, as well as with some of my students.

Campbell writes:

Just as most people are strongly left- or right-handed, we tend to listen more with one ear than the other. For listening to be most effective when communicating verbally, the right ear–with its many connections to the language centers in the left hemisphere of the brain–should have a leading role.

 

Neuroscientists have discovered that the right ear is the pathway to the language region in the left side of the brain.  Information received through the right ear is more directly processed and integrated than through the right ear.
Campbell continues:
In his fascinating book When Listening Comes Alive, Paul Madaule recommends a way for your child to explore the ways in which she listens with one ear or the other. First, she should sit on a stool in an erect but relaxed position with her left ear facing the sound source, close her eyes and listening to a recording of a Mozart violin concerto of sonata. As she listens, encourage her to focus with her left ear on the violin sounds, then turn her head and focus on the sounds with her right ear–then back to the left, to the right, and so on. After two or three minutes of this, have her return her listening to her right ear. Then very slowly rotate the stool to the right, exposing her left ear to the sound source while she continues to listen with her right ear. When she feels that her right ear is losing its lead, slowing rotate her back until her right ear becomes dominant again. By repeating this action for about five minutes, she will learn to consciously control her listening and train her right ear to become dominant. Finally, have her face the music source and listen with her right ear. Then, ask her to imagine that her right ear is moving slowly to the top of her hear. IN this way, she will listen to the music with both ears again, but the right ear will remain dominant.

 

Thank you, Applefilms, for making this recording available for us to enjoy!

You can read more of Don Campbell in “The Mozart Effect for Children:  Awakening Your Child’s Mind, Health, and Creativity with Music” published by William Morrow and available here from Amazon.com.