Date of Award
Communication Sciences & Disorders
This case study investigates the role that bilingualism and/or music training plays on the pitch perception of non-native speech and musical pitch contrasts in 6- to 7-year-old children. This study aimed to investigate two research questions. First, does the infant bilingual advantage in pitch perception persist through childhood? Second, does music training lead to an advantage in pitch perception? There were 4 participants with the following criteria: a monolingual non-musician, monolingual musician, bilingual non-musician, and a bilingual musician. The participants performed a series of perception tasks, including English minimal pairs, Mandarin pitch contrasts, and violin pitch contrasts. It was found that the musician participants outperformed the non-musician participants. In addition, the bilingual musician participant outperformed the bilingual non musician participant. The results of this study serve as preliminary evidence that there is an advantage in pitch perception abilities in children with the presence of music training. While bilingualism alone did not point to an advantage, there was a notable advantage with the presence of bilingualism and music training.
Smith, Allison Marie, "The Influence of Music Training and Bilingualism on Speech and Music Perception" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Thesis Collection. 553.