Whether it’s Humpty Dumpty, Mozart or Baby Shark, babies are captivated by music from the womb to the sandbox. Recent studies have shown that children exposed to classical music in the womb exhibit a positive change in physical and mental development after birth, greatly influencing a baby’s cognitive skills. A 2016 study by the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS) show that series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds. Leader Author Christina Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher at I-LABS, believes the study suggests that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech.
“Infants experience a complex world in which sounds, lights and sensations vary constantly,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS. “The baby’s job is to recognise the patterns of activity and predict what’s going to happen next. Pattern perception is an important cognitive skill and improving that ability early may have long-lasting effects on learning”.
Music & Development
Cognitive skills are just one of the many impacts’ music has on babies and children development in both a mental and physical capacity. Dating back to the early 1990s, studies have shown babies listening to classical music not only provides a calming influence but also invokes their ability to detect moods and emotions in others, creating empathic personalities from a young age.
Music has the ability to greatly evolve your child’s brain. By 7 months, babies can detect an underlying beat in music and by 9 months, they can notice slight differences in timing. Scientists have discovered the link music has between not only understanding mathematical concepts but also mastering creative arts. A study found that first graders in North America who had been given intensive musical instructions displayed more progress in mathematics than classmates without, partially as music helps children understand mathematical concepts.
Music featuring distinctive songwriting is a fantastic starting point for babies to understand speech and learning to speak. According to research carried out by Sebastian-Galles and Bosh in 2001 infants can distinguish languages of different rhythmic classes from birth. By the time infants reach 6 months old, children show favouritism towards their maternal language, showing babies have a strong grasp of speech from a young age.
Baby’s First Party
Whether your little one will only get to sleep with Mozart playing the background, is smiling ear to ear when you play Mary had a little lamb or is crawling for joy at Peppa Pig, there’s no denying that their early experience with music is their stepping stone to a bright, creative and intelligent future! What better way to get the party started with a soundbar fit for music, film and dialogue?
What music does your baby respond to? Drop us a message below to let us know how your child responds to music. If you’re using a Majority product for all your baby’s first milestones, we want to hear all about it on social media at @majorityaudio. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #lovequalitysound #majorityaudio #carbonneutralaudio