Piaget’s Stage Theory

This stage theory can let you understand how people react to music in the different stages.

1) Sensorimotor stage(0-2)
Children can react with the environment through their senses with their sensorimotor schemas. Children in this stage can react to music as early as 18 months. Some can even sing melodic fragments.
2) Preoperational stage(2-7)
This is the beginning of imagery that allows children to fantasize. Their reactions to the world are dominated by senses. Moving through the stage, they learn how to resolve the perceptual and conceptual conflicts. Children in this stage can produce whole songs and have greater tendency for improvisatory. Since they are highly imaginative, music teachers may use images to help reinforce musical concepts.
3)Concrete Operational stage(7-11)
This is the most important period between ages five and ten or eleven to the development of musical understandings. (Serafine, 1988) The musical concepts about volume, tempo, pitch and harmony requires everyday experiences. Children are suggested to expose to music intensively rather than intensive training.

4)Formal Operational stage(11-   )
When children enter this final stage of Piaget’s stage structure, they are more able to solve problems. They are more eager to understand the rules of music notations. In this stage, every child has their ability to form value systems and establish future goals.

Although there are many theories on different stages in child development, every child is unique. That’s why a music program should be designed individually in varied ways so that it could meet the individual needs.


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