First of all we have this capacity for music, what you’d call musicality, which is a naturally occurring human trait, which enables us to perceive music and to make music, at least with our own body, our built-in instrument, our voice…. When people listen to music together, it seems to enhance social bonds. It does that even better when they participate actively in music … whether [that’s] clapping, dancing, singing together, playing instruments together. And a very important aspect of the joint music making is our ability to synchronize our movement to music and to synchronize with each other, and one of the consequences of synchronous activity is enhanced cooperation.
Two thirds of our grandchildren—the six who are seven and under—brought their parents, another grandmother, an uncle and his girlfriend along for a Thanksgiving gathering at our house yesterday afternoon. And the first thing they did was start to play with my percussion instruments. I play with a band called the 8 Enders—three ukulele players, one guitarist, one percussionist, and all of us singers. I guess you could say we are the resident band at the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club.
Off went the rainstick, the clappers, the wooden spoons, maracas, bells, shakers, and a drum in small hands to be marched around with and shaken and struck. It raised the decibel level in the house, but it also increased the level of joy.
I love playing with my noisemakers too.
Sandra Trehub, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, described our innate musicality to Bob McDonald on the Annual Quirks and Quarks Question Roadshow at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto on June 21, 2014.
Sure enough, everyone got along wonderfully at our Thanksgiving gathering.