Do you play music for your baby? Do you listen to music while pregnant, or perhaps place headphones on your belly? You’re not alone, and new studies are showing how important this is for your child’s development and their ability to share an even greater emotional attachment with mom and dad.
Psychobiologist Carolyn Granier-Deferre of Paris Descartes University conducted a study in 2011 with 50 ‘heavily pregnant women’ and the affects that music had on their child. The results ‘suggest that newborns pay more attention to what may be their mother’s melodic sounds than they will of those of other women.’
What does this really mean? A baby’s hearing develops during the last three months of pregnancy, and according to researches on this study the evidence suggests that babies who have been played music will better perceive the ‘sounds of speech’ after birth, and perhaps share a greater emotional attachment to those familiar sounds from mom and dad.
According to BabyZone.com, studies conducted by Thomas R. Verny and Rene Van de Carr provided proof that babies who were stimulated while in the womb ‘exhibit advanced visual, auditory, language, and motor development skills.’
How To Play Music For Your Child
Sure, you could watch American Idol and turn the volume up loud for baby to hear, or you could purchase some of the prenatal products on the market that are designed specifically for baby to hear music. You could go the ‘old school’ route and place headphones on your belly, or you could simply listen to the music yourself.
What Music to Play
While there are many conflicting studies on the type of music you should be playing for your child, the key seems to be in the pace and rhythm of the music, more than the type of music itself. A babies heart rate will mimic that of the music, so choose music with uniform, balanced beat rather than music with random, sudden shifts in rhythm.
The Mozart Effect
The Mozart Effect was an incredibly popular study conducted by the University of California at Irvine back in 1995. The results of this study showed that college students who listened to Mozart showed a temporary increase in spatial relationship skills and IQ points.
Unlike Beethoven or Bach, Mozart’s music is incredibly repetitive, with a melody that is very balanced. At the beginning of 2010, research was conducted at the Tel Aviv Medical Center in Israel to test the affects of The Mozart Effect on preterm babies. Once a day for two consecutive days the doctors played Mozart for these babies, and found that after listening to Mozart the babies were calmer and ‘expended less energy,’ which allowed them to gain weight faster and ‘thrive more quickly’ then their counterparts who were not played music.
Music is wonderful stimulation for both babies in the womb, newborn babies, and children of every age. Musical instruction at a young age has been shown to improve literacy, verbal memory, mathematics and IQ. Music can make us happy, angry, or feel relaxed. Do you play music for your little one? If so, what do you play? How does your child respond?