Listening To Baby Music Helps Baby Brain Development

young child enjoying music

Listening To Music Grows Babies Brain

Developmental neuroscientists and psychologists now pay an increasing amount of attention to the effects of external stimuli on early brain development. And this means that parents and carers are presented with more and more opportunities to help their kids grow.

One such opportunity lies in music — at Best Baby Lullabies we know from personal experience that introducing music to our babies has profound benefits, and research supports what we’ve learnt.

Music Supports Healthy Cognition And Concentration

In 1994, Anne Pick and her team found that musical experience very early in life enhances a baby’s ability to identify sounds and the sources of sound, and to differentiate between instruments. This brings up the question of whether this ability is based purely on experience — because the child had heard these different sounds before, he or she could identify them — or whether a baby’s exposure to music has deeper effects of their cognitive development.  

The Mozart Effect

You’ve probably heard of the Mozart Effect, which suggests that hearing classical music helps to develop cognitive function in babies and young children. While the original study that inspired the boom in Mozart Effect marketing is of questionable reliability, further studies have clearly demonstrated that music does influence childhood development — and it doesn’t have to be Mozart!

Listening to songs and instrumental music from a young age helps children to develop skills of concentration and listening. Unlike watching fast-moving images on the TV, music requires concentration and brings about a focused and relaxed state of mind.

Sing Songs To Enhance Language Skills

And listening skills have been shown to contribute to enhanced language skills — your music-loving baby may well become a fluent speaker at a young age.

 In 2004, a team of researchers set out to explore this connection between music and language (1). They found that their study participants who did have musical experience showed a difference in dominant hemisphere processing which allowed them to listen more effectively, and perform better in linguistic tasks.

 So, skills and experience in listening to music affect the way the brain hears and organises language.

 Does all of this mean you need to teach your baby to memorise the melody of Rachmaninoff’s prelude in C sharp minor?

 No! Exposure to different sounds, lullabies, instruments and singing voices will allow your child’s brain to start making connections and develop crucial concentration skills.

 Simply let them listen: play recordings to them, take them to baby music groups, and encourage them to use their own voices or instruments to join in if they want to. A saucepan and a wooden spoon combine to make a great baby instrument, so there’s no need to buy a guitar just yet.

 

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Our Expert

Jane Cooke - Baby Sleep Expert