The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

An understanding of music in young children.

What can young children see in music? Are they able to understand it? Well, Fintan seems to.

Recently, Fintan got to hear West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein. We didn't tell him anything about it but just let him listen. His remarks proved to be very interesting.

At one point, he suddenly perked up: “Are they fighting? I can hear them fighting.", he said, excitedly, as if, oddly, people were actually fighting, in front of him, for real.

A few minutes later the music changed and so did Fintan's response. "Are they dead?”, he asked, interestedly and respectfully.

As anyone who knows the story of West Side, would know, Fintan's remarks were very apt to the music. It was good to hear this five year old understand the story behind the music, from the music alone.

Later on, in reflection on the music, he observed: “The Bernstein is like cat and jerry…chasing.”

He meant, Tom and Jerry - the ever chasing animals, in the cartoon.

Again, that is an accurate description of the music and of the story behind it - for it is the tale of two gangs and their rivalry.

It was a rare opportunity for Fintan to hear such music - but given his enthusiastic response, perhaps we should try to ensure that such rare events are more common in future. We would, no doubt, get to hear more interpretations of the musical "stories" from him.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 9:08 PM 


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