Characteristics of Eye Movements during Musical Expression in Early Childhood by Tonality: Through Quantitative Analysis by Eye Tracking

Mina Sano


Early childhood children frequently use body movements while singing songs accompanied to the music. When trying to express the recognition of musical elements by body movement, the child in early childhood creates his own musical expression by thinking and judging while looking at the surrounding children and the accompaniment teacher. This study aims to quantitatively analyze changes in eye movements during musical expression. 3-year-old, 4-year-old, and 5-year-old children at two nursery schools in 2020 and two kindergartens in 2021 (n=118) participated in eye tracking during singing a song using an eye tracker (Tobii3). Quantitative analysis by three-way ANOVA was mainly conducted on the calculated data. As a result, the increase in data such as number of saccade occurrences and size, and the moving average velocity of saccade, showed that saccades during musical expression in early childhood tended to be larger in major key than in minor key. From the calculated data on saccade, which is the eye movement during musical expression, it was predicted that effective feature quantities of eye movement during musical expression for machine learning could be derived in the same way as feature quantities depended on the results of quantitative analysis of body movement during musical expression.

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