Learning to Form Instrumental Musical Structures in Toddlerhood


  • Ilil Keren Bar Ilan University. Oranim College. Beit Berl College.
  • Professor
  • Professor


The field of children's free play instrumental musical expression seems to lack a theory on the developmental aspect in toddlerhood. The case study presented here was part of a larger study aimed at helping to fill that gap. In that study, 23 children (14 to 24 months old) played freely on a metallophone and a pair of bongos in six sessions over nineteen months. This case study exemplifies the toddlers’ process of developing the ability to structure well-formed musical ideas, starting with short patterns that gradually grow and using repetition-based structures. The insights can contribute to the fields of early childhood musical development, music education and childcare.