- My sister suggested that I test Ben's melody recognition ability by playing some of his favorite songs on other instruments (without lyrics). Interestingly, he recognized "Eleanor Rigby" immediately when I played it on the violin, but not at all on the piano, even after I played it several times. I wonder if it's because the violin's timbre is closer to that of the Beatles' guitar and vocals (as well as the string accompaniment in the Beatles' version) than that of the piano. Further investigation is warranted.
- Oh, I should mention that I certainly wasn't playing in the original key, so he recognized the melody even after it was modulated into a different key. I'm wondering how that relates to Dan Connell's ongoing efforts to calibrate his pitch perception via his CI.
- At dinner on Saturday, I was chatting with Ben. Neil was out of town at a conference. I said to Ben, as I've said on many occasions, "You're the best Ben ever." He responded with, "Best Ben in the whole wide world?" His articulation was almost perfect (for an 18 month old), so I understood him immediately, but I couldn't quite believe he had said this. How on earth could he come up with something like that on his own? So I asked, "Did Daddy say that you're the best Ben in the whole wide world?" And he said (and signed) "Yes." (He almost always signs "yes".) Okay, mystery solved -- the phrase "Best Ben" triggered his memory of something Neil had said. So the next day I asked Neil about this, and he said that yes, he had probably said something along these lines at some point, but not recently, and not with any particular emphasis. The point is that Ben does this to us all the time -- we'll use a phrase fairly casually, and two weeks later he'll spout it back to us under very different (but appropriate) circumstances. The kid has an amazing memory.
3 weeks ago