Music Learning Theory for Newborns, Infants and Toddlers


The Music Learning Theory for newborns, infants and toddlers curricular unit aims to:

1. Acquire knowledge related to the contents of Music Learning Theory (TAM) for early childhood as proposed by the pedagogue and researcher Edwin Gordon;

2. Acquire specific knowledge related to the concept of Preparatory Audiation, focusing on the stages of Acculturation (Types: Absorption; Random Response; Purposeful Response) and Imitation (Types: Shedding Egocentricity; Breaking the Code);

3. Acquire skills in observing musical behaviors (according to the types and stages of Preparatory Audiation) in early childhood;

4. Acquire skills in observing social behavior and interaction in early childhood;

5. Acquire skills for structuring musical guidance sessions for early childhood;

6. Acquire practical skills in musical and relational terms for teaching music in early childhood sessions.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Isabel Lemos do Carmo Pereira


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Bradley, K. K. (2009). Rudolf Laban. New York: Routledge.
Gordon, E. E. (2000). Teoria de Aprendizagem Musical para recém-nascidos e crianças em idade pré-escolar (P. M. Rodrigues, trad.). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Rodrigues, H., Rodrigues, P. M. & Nunes, P. (2003). Bebé Babá - da musicalidade dos afetos à música com bebés. Porto: Campo das Letras (livro e vídeo).
Rodrigues, H., Rodrigues, P. F., & Rodrigues, P. M. (Eds.). (2016). Manual para a Construção de Jardins Interiores. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
Taggart, C., Reynolds, A., Valerio, W., Bailey, J., Lange, D. M., & Gordon, E. E. (2009). Jump right in: Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide Book. Chicago: GIA Publications.
Valerio, W., Reynolds, A., Bolton, B., Taggart, C., & Gordon, E. (2000). Music Play: The early childhood music curriculum guide for parents, teachers and caregivers. Chicago: GIA Publications.Português / Portuguese.

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical lessons. It is intended to provide students with specific knowledge regarding Edwin Gordon's Musical Learning Theory for early childhood. It is intended to provide observation experiences in a real context that contextualize this knowledge in pedagogical practices. Musical practice (in pairs) in sessions for parents and babies also aims to provide an opportunity to apply the principles, techniques and teaching strategies based on the Theory of Musical Learning in a real context, thus promoting the embodiment of knowledge and pedagogical practice.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - Individual written work based on observation activities.(20%), Musical pratice.(40%), Session plan.(40%)

Subject matter

I. Fundamentals of Music Learning Theory for newborns, infants and toddlers

  • Contributions to musical pedagogy. Preparatory Auditing: Concept, types and stages; Tonal and rhythmic patterns. The importance of silence.

II. Musical repertoire

  • Songs and chants with words and without words. Tonality, tonality, rest tone, metric, texture, tempo. Selection criteria for repertoire. Selection criteria for suitable materials / instruments. Session plan.

III. Movement based on Rudolf Laban

  • Elementary aspects of space, time, weight and flow factors; Stress elements of space, time, weight and flow factors; Articulation with activities based on Music Learning Theory.

IV. Body and voice

V. Observation and musical practice