Scientific article
Open access

Shall we play the same? Pedagogical perspectives on infants' and children's imitation of musical gestures

Published inFrontiers in Psychology, vol. 11, 1087
Publication date2020

Imitation, both gestural and vocal, has been acknowledged to be at the origin of human communication (Donald, 1991). Music is often considered to be the first means of communication of emotion via both vocal and gestural synchronization (Malloch, 1999; Malloch and Trevarthen, 2009). Instrumental music is part of the human heritage for more than 35,000 years before our era (Aimé et al., 2020). However, very little is known about the acquisition of gestures that produce sounds (i.e., musical gestures) and their role in the development of music and musicality. In the present paper, we propose that studying early synchronous imitation of musical gestures is essential both for investigating the development of the early action-perception system and for outlining early music interventions during infancy. We designed double musical objects which can be used in preschool music education for prompting synchronic imitation of musical gestures between adult and child, and between dyads of infants. We conclude by proposing a novel pedagogical perspective in music education for the early years which links the privileged orientation of infants and children towards sound discoveries with the development of perception-action coupling via imitation of musical gestures.

  • Imitation
  • Gesture
  • Action-perception coupling
  • Children
  • Music
  • Sound exploration
Citation (ISO format)
FILIPPA, Manuela et al. Shall we play the same? Pedagogical perspectives on infants” and children’s imitation of musical gestures. In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2020, vol. 11, p. 1087. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01087
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1664-1078

Technical informations

Creation11/25/2020 9:15:00 PM
First validation11/25/2020 9:15:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 12:01:56 AM
Status update03/16/2023 12:01:55 AM
Last indexation05/06/2024 6:38:54 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack