Parents

MAZAAMTM, the musical genius – stimulating your child’s development.

MazaamTM is an educational application designed to help children four to six years old explore the rudiments of music, based on the latest research in neuroscience, psychology, and education. By listening to excerpts from the great works of classical music, children learn about musical pitch, duration, intensity, timbre, and the basics of harmony (consonance and dissonance).

As children progress through the application’s various modules, they engage in entertaining games that teach them to use effective strategies, set priorities, assess problem-solving options, and adapt to novelty and change. These are called “executive functions.”

Each MazaamTM module has an intuitive and progressive structure. For example, children are asked to match one musical excerpt with a game character according to the pitch, duration, intensity, timbre, or consonance/dissonance of the sounds.

They are asked to identify similar excerpts, pick out excerpts that do not share the same characteristics, reproduce melodies, and appreciate music, all while engaging in an interactive experience.

In other words, children have fun while developing their musical knowledge and improving certain cognitive skills.

Click to explore

Pitch

Music Box - Squirrels

Music is made up of sounds with different pitches that create melodies.

In this module, your child will play with low- and high-pitched sounds. Demand on your child’s auditory attention is slowly increased, as visual cues for distinguishing, associating, identifying, detecting, and reproducing the pitch of sounds are gradually removed.

Exercise

Simple game with your child. As a complement to the application, you might listen to great works of classical music to help your child better understand the concept of low and high pitches.

J.S. Bach’s Toccata in D Minor presents the same theme in the high register and then in the low register.

Play a simple game with your child. As you listen to the piece, place your hands behind your back when you hear a low passage and raise your arms when you hear a high passage.

Point out to your child that the music you are listening to is sometimes higher-pitched and sometimes lower-pitched.

This module’s activities engage children’s attention. They help children hone their perception of sounds and improve auditory memory. Your child may also develop complementary skills that will be useful when they are learning to read. For example, to identify the sounds that make up words (phonemes), children must demonstrate fine-grained auditory discrimination.

Association

Your child has fun placing musical excerpts into two groups according to whether they are low-pitched or high-pitched.

Identification

From among all the excerpts presented, your child has fun identifying those which are low-pitched or high-pitched.

Detection

Your child has fun finding the intruder. In this image, one musical excerpt is not in the same pitch range as the other two.

Tempo

Music Box - Chameleons

Duration refers to how music flows.

In this module, children play with musical excerpts that feature different tempos to help them differentiate between slow and fast passages.

With visual cues to guide them, they are exposed to slow and fast musical passages. Later on, the tasks become more complex, and they must act independently as the visual cues gradually disappear.

Exercise

Simple game with your child. To enrich the experience with your child, listen to the “Badinerie” from J.S. Bach’s:

Orchestral Suite in A Minor
(fast movement)

Menuet
(slow movement)

Move to the music. Move around the room and imitate the tempo with your feet. When the music is slow, take big steps. When it’s fast, take little steps. Help your child notice that the music you are listening to is sometimes slow and sometimes fast.

Being able to distinguish, associate, identify, detect, and reproduce sounds based on their duration can be beneficial starting in early childhood. These types of activities give children skills that are useful when they start learning to separate words into syllables. For example, when a child taps out the syllables of the word “umbrella” in their hand, they must produce three sounds corresponding to the sounds /um/, /brel/, and /la/.

Association

Your child has fun placing musical excerpts into two groups depending on whether they are slow or fast.

Identification

From among all the excerpts presented, your child has fun identifying those which are slow or fast.

Detection

Your child has fun finding the intruder. In this image, the sounds of one musical excerpt are not the same duration as the other two.

Intensity

Music Box - Lynx

Intensity refers to musical dynamics (i.e., loud and soft).

In this module, your child will enjoy discovering the different kinds of musical intensity. At first, the contrasts between loud and soft are presented using visual cues. These cues gradually disappear as children progress through the module.

Exercise

Simple game with your child. To discover more about contrasting dynamics (loud/soft), listen to the famous “Ode to Joy” theme from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with your child.

“Ode to Joy”
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9

Make two posters to use with a game. On one poster, draw objects/instruments that make soft sounds. On the other poster, draw objects/instruments that make loud sounds. Then, as you listen to the music, ask your child to hold up the poster that best matches what you are hearing. Is a passage loud or soft? Point out to your child that sometimes the music you are listening to is louder or softer.

By distinguishing, associating, identifying, and detecting sounds according to their intensity, children use various listening strategies to grasp auditory contrasts. For example, they may sing their favourite lullaby with a soft voice or use a loud voice to recite a lively nursery rhyme. By pronouncing some parts of words more loudly than others, they are spontaneously accenting syllables. This is a fun way for them to realize how words are composed, identifying syllables that are at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.

Association

Your child has fun placing musical excerpts into two groups depending on whether they are loud or soft.

Identification

From among all the excerpts presented, your child has fun identifying those that are loud or soft.

Detection

Your child has fun finding the intruder. In this image, one musical excerpt is not the same intensity as the other two.

Timbre

Music Box - Eagles

Timbre is a sound’s “colour,” which is related to how it is produced –

the characteristics that allow you to distinguish a flute from a violin, for example.

This module introduces your child to the notion of timbre – in particular, what distinguishes the sound of a wind instrument (flute) from a string instruments (violin). Initially, visual cues help children distinguish, associate, identify, and detect timbre, but they gradually disappear as the module progresses.

Exercise

Simple game with your child. With your child, listen to two versions of the famous piece based on Roma themes called Zigeunerweisen,

Played on the flute

Played on the violin

Or listen to Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition,

in the original version for piano

and in an arrangement for wind quintet

The melody is the same in both versions, but it is played by instruments with different timbres. After listening to the music, continue exploring the notion of timbre with a “treasure hunt” at home or in a park. Look for objects that make similar sounds when you tap them with a stick. For example, wooden objects or metal objects. Play with using them as percussion instruments. Listen closely to the sounds produced and make categories by grouping them according to timbre.

As children play with recognizing instrument sounds, they must demonstrate analytical skills and adapt to change and novelty. This type of activity also helps them in learning contexts. For example, to recognize whether two words end with the same sound (rhyme), a child must demonstrate fine-grained timbral discrimination. Thus, by introducing your child to timbre, this module also targets the development of complementary skills.

Association

Your child has fun placing musical excerpts into two groups depending on whether they are produced by the wind family or the string family.

Identification

From among all the excerpts presented, your child has fun identifying those that feature the wind family or the string family.

Detection

Your child has fun finding the intruder. In this image, one musical excerpt does not feature the same family of instruments as the other two.

Harmony

Music Box - Sea Lions

There are several aspects to musical harmony including consonance and dissonance.

This module will help your child differentiate musical passages whose organization is more harmonious or discordant.

With the help of visual cues at first and later more independently, children learn to distinguish, associate, identify, and detect musical excerpts whose musical organization is more harmonious or more discordant.

Exercise

Simple game with your child. In addition to the games in the application, take a moment to listen to The Unanswered Question by Charles Ives.

The Unanswered Question
by Charles Ives

Perform a scenario with your child where you make up your own story by miming or otherwise representing the music.

Encourage your child’s interaction with the music by pointing out what the mood of a contemporary piece can call to mind.

The activities in this module engage the sense of musical appreciation. By introducing children to less familiar musical works, the module will broaden their musical world and may help them adapt to novelty. Initiating children to the notion of consonance and dissonance may also give them a better awareness of difference and its many facets in our society.

Association

Your child has fun placing musical excerpts into two groups depending on whether they are consonant or dissonant.

Identification

From among all the excerpts presented, your child has fun identifying those which are consonant or dissonant.

Detection

Your child has fun finding the intruder. In this image, the harmony of one of the three musical excerpts is different than the other two (consonant or dissonant).

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