B.AIR Open lab webinars

A series of free-access webinars dedicated to the theme Sound and Music in Child Development.

The webinars are a part of the program scheme B-AIR Open Lab which aims to enable and encourage the exchange of knowledge on the impact of sound on human development, in order to systematize the existing knowledge and experiences for their application in practice.

The webinar speakers are experts from the field of neuroscience, psychology, pedagogy, musical pedagogy, musicology, etc., invited by B-AIR project partners.


Sound, music and the brain

March 2, 2021, 18-19:30 – Anka Slana Ozimič, PhD (Slovenia)

In the lecture "Sound and the Brain" we will try to answer the question, "If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?" We will learn what sound is, how the sound stimulus is produced and then processed in the ear and the brain. We will also talk about why the perception of music is richer at higher volumes, why prolonged exposure to loud music leads to hearing loss, what babies hear, and whether they can recognize their mother's voice in the womb.

March 9, 2021, 18-19:30 – Katarina Habe, PhD in interview with Albinca Pesek, PhD, music pedagogue, sound therapist and Tomatis practitioner & Zvezdan Pirtošek, PhD, head of the Department of Neurology, University Medical Centre Ljubljana (Slovenia)

The topic of the interview with two experts will be practical implications of positive effects of sound and music in educational and clinical practice. Tomatis method is going to be introduced.

Developmental guidelines in creating children’s encounters with the arts

March 16, 2021, 18-19:30 – Katarina Habe, PhD (Slovenia)

In the lecture main characteristics of cognitive and socio-emotional development of preschool children will be highlighted.

March 23, 2021, 18-19:30 – Katarina Habe, PhD in interview with Martina Peštaj, a media psychologist & a head of children’s and youth programmes on RTV Slovenia, and Ajda Ross, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre (Slovenia)

It is important to acknowledge the developmental characteristics of children in forming arts for them. How do children think, what do they like, how do they process information - these are some of the issues that are going to be highlighted in the interview with Martina Peštaj, media psychologist, also a head of children’s and youth programs RTV Slovenia, and Ajda Ross, artistic director of Ljubljana Puppet Theatre.

Listening and responses to sound and music in the earliest childhood

March 30, 2021, 18-19:30 – Katarina Zadnik, PhD (Slovenia)

Hearing is a physiological process and is a prerequisite for listening, while listening is a mentally activity, and it is a skill that needs to be learned. The children learn about sound/music through their own activity based on the sensory and motor processes as well as positive emotional attitude toward important adult. The planned listening activity, systematically directed by an important adult for the child, encourages the development of active listening. Thus, the development of auditory sensibility and attention to sound is initiated.

The topic will focus on the development of auditory perception and active listening in the earliest childhood. It will be intended for interested artists, educators, scholars in order to present some practical views, to highlight the importance of mentioned factors in way of forming musical works for children as well as for further musical development.

Keywords: affective domain, auditory perception, earliest childhood, listening

April 6, 2021, 18-19:30 – Katarina Zadnik, PhD in interviews with Sara Smrekar and Alenka Podboj (Slovenia), presenting practical views on listening to sound and music by 3-and 4-year-olds

The development of hearing and listening in the earliest childhood will be presented from the aspects of two programs: 1) the publicly valid program in the Slovenian kindergarten, and 2) the internationally established pedagogical Edgar Willems concept. Listening to music is one of the integral activities in the music curricula in the both concepts. With the invited experts, the implementation aspects of the discussed programs by 3- and 4-year-olds will be presented on the experiential basis. The topic will focus on different approaches, how to encourage listening process in relation to the child's emotional mood and the factor of important adults. The discussion will be aimed to artists, educators, practitioners and other interested audiences.

Keywords: early childhood, Edgar Willems, hearing, kindergarten, listening

Listening education

April 13, 2021, 18-19:30 – Ana Čorić (Croatia) in interviews with experts from the organization Music Together (music education program for babies and toddlers)

Music-making in family life slowly vanishes from peoples' homes mostly because of the fast way of living and the technological development. This is why it is crucial to develop pedagogical activities for rebuilding musical connections within families. The aim of the conversation with Vida Manestar is to present Music Together, an early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age eight and their parents as role models. After more than 30 years of duration, Music Together is present worldwide in more than 40 countries, with a comprehensive curriculum based on extensive research both in music education and in child development. The conversation will be useful for all interested sound-artists and pedagogues, as well as parents who want to spend meaningful leisure time with their children.

April 20, 2021, 18-19:30 – Ana Čorić in interview with Valnea Žauhar, PhD, Sabina Vidulin, PhD (Croatia), authors of the research-based book Cognitive-emotional music listening in school

The purpose of music listening in school is to shape students’ world view regarding culture and arts, as well as to contribute to their aesthetic education. Croatian elementary schools use the ‘standard model’, which focuses on the cognitive dimension. In order to increase attention, motivation, listening habits, and acceptance of artistic music, a cognitive-emotional approach is suggested that connects musical and extra-musical content in multiple modalities. The goal of the research is to compare the effects of the cognitive-emotional approach versus the standard approach to music teaching on the cognitive and emotional aspects of music listening. 557 year 5 students from 30 classes participated in the research. They listened to Khachaturian’s Masquerade, Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory, Rimsky- Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and Fauré’s Pavane, as well as answering questions related to the cognitive and emotional aspects of music listening. Fifteen classrooms used the standard approach, while the other fifteen used the cognitive-emotional approach. Student responses generally did not differ in the cognitive aspect. In the emotional aspect, Scheherazade and Pavane engendered somewhat more intense dominant emotions when the cognitive-emotional approach was used.