It is commonly known that babies tend to react positively to music in many ways, and sometimes it’s a way to make them relax and fall asleep as well as have some fun, however there are other lasting benefits that might interest some parents, uncles or any person who has an important little family member.
Learning with Music
In a study made in 2016, at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) it was proven that music improved 9 month old babies’ brain processing of sounds.
“Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech,”
“This means that early, engaging musical experiences can have a more global effect on cognitive skills,”
During the experiment a group of babies along with their parents were assigned to a control session in which a group listened to music and tried to follow the rhythm while the other group played with toys and interacted with other activities.
The results where very interesting, and showed that the babies that were listening to music, presented a higher brain activity when it came to detecting patterns and rythms than the other group.
In both the music and control groups, we gave babies experiences that were social, required their active involvement and included body movements — these are all characteristics that we know help people learn
The key difference between the play groups was whether the babies were moving to learn a musical rhythm.
There is so much that can be learned only by listening to music, in the end not all of these babies are going to be professional musicians when they grow up, but it will enhance their ability to learn new languages and develop a healthier sense of hearing.
This research reminds us that the effects of engaging in music go beyond music itself. Music experience has the potential to boost broader cognitive skills that enhance children’s abilities to detect, expect and react quickly to patterns in the world, which is highly relevant in today’s complex world.
Babies and Music
The author of This Is Your Brain, Dr. Daniel Levitin baby’s brain is prewired to learn how to understand music, just as it’s prewired to learn how to speak different languages. He compares the way babies learn how to understand music and understand rhythm, the same way the learn how to speak, like some sort of musical babbling .
Dr. Levitin says:
Your baby may make up little songs and train himself to hear and create various musical ideas
There are also more straightforward ways to help babies learn some new things through music such as catchy easy lyrics, this will help the baby learn words and assiciate them with the music. Even more so if the parent is singing to the baby will doing gestures and dancing, it’s even better as it stimulates more than just the hearing.
Of course, it’s also a good way to connect, as we all know, music can say a lot of things without using words, so what better way to bond with a baby than music.
Music is just another language, and it’s going to be a while before a baby begins speaking, before that, as any other human being, a baby will crave human connection, and what better way than to stimulate him or her with music and make it so that the world around is a place they can interact with.
Remember: ” “Infants’ hearing is well developed soon after birth, so they can respond to music very early on,” according to Dr. Diane Bales