In a study of the development of children’s ability to relate musical forms to extramusical concepts, four- and six-year-old children matched appropriate animal pictures to excerpts from Sergej Prokof’ev’s Petya i volk (Peter and the wolf) significantly better than chance, but identified the wolf and bird more readily than the cat and duck excerpts.
Three-year-olds participating in a simplified version of the task experienced a comparable order of difficulty in matching the various music-animal pairs.
A third experiment replicated the first, but with the less familiar music of Camille Saint-Saëns’s Le carnaval des animaux. Again, performance was above chance, increasing the likelihood that children’s success in the first two experiments was not attributable to previous exposure to the music.
This according to “The development of referential meaning in music” by Sandra E. Trehub and Laurel J. Trainor (Music perception: An interdisciplinary journal IX/4 [summer 1992] pp. 455–70).
Above, a still from Disney’s Peter and the wolf; below, the Saint-Saëns work.
In 2014 Waxmann launched the peer-reviewed series Perspektiven musikpädagogischer Forschung with Bedeutungszuweisungen in der musikalischen Früherziehung: Integration der kindlichen Perspektive in musikalische Bildungsprozesse by Anne Weber-Krüger.
The series aims to support the scientific examination of music education in all its substantive and methodological breadth with writings by young scientists and researchers as well as experienced scientists. The editorial team hopes that this series excites discussion in both the professional and interdisciplinary worlds.
The roles and realizations of childhood in Ravel’s music were inextricably linked with the language, traditions, and idioms of the literary fairytale—an idea that he himself supported when he wrote that his intention in his fairytale-based Ma mère l’Oye was to evoke “the poetry of childhood”.
Ravel deliberately aligned his music with the traditions of the fairytale through the creation and expressive manipulation of musical and dramatic structure, language, gesture, and perspective. One may trace the voice and presence of the storyteller in Ma mère l’Oye, a work dedicated to two children for whom Ravel was a favorite companion and teller of fairytales.
This according to The language of enchantment: Childhood and fairytale in the music of Maurice Ravel by Emily Alison Kilpatrick, a dissertation accepted by Elder Conservatorium of Music at The University of Adelaide in 2008.
Today is Ravel’s 140th birthday! Above, the composer with his cat Mouni; below, Edward Gardner directs the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest in Ma mère l’Oye.
The Strong Women from the Tiwi Islands (northern Australia) are concerned that young Tiwi people are straddling two cultures, losing their language and their Tiwi identity.
To address this problem, the women and their grandchildren have composed a song that emphasizes connection to the ancestors, to country, to language, and to the elders. With lyrics in English, traditional Tiwi song language, and the contemporary spoken language, and with a hip-hop dance-mix sampling an ethnographic recording made in 1912, Ngariwanajirri (Strong kids song) is an example of new music helping to preserve tradition.
This according to “Ngariwanajirri, the Tiwi Strong kids song: Using repatriated song recordings in a contemporary music project” by Genevieve Campbell (Yearbook for traditional music XLIV  1–23).
Below, a music video of Ngariwanajirri; the song changes dramatically around 2:00.