Teach your baby about music!
- From: Lance <lancegary@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 12:53:06 -0700 (PDT)
Babies' brains benefit from music lessons, researchers find
May 9th, 2012 in Psychology & Psychiatry
After completing the first study of its kind, researchers at McMaster
have discovered that very early musical training benefits children
they can walk or talk.
They found that one-year-old babies who participate in interactive
with their parents smile more, communicate better and show earlier and
sophisticated brain responses to music.
The findings were published recently in the scientific journals
Science and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
"Many past studies of musical training have focused on older
Laurel Trainor, director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the
results suggest that the infant brain might be particularly plastic
to musical exposure."
Trainor, together with David Gerry, a music educator and graduate
received an award from the Grammy Foundation in 2008 to study the
musical training in infancy. In the recent study, groups of babies and
parents spent six months participating in one of two types of weekly
One music class involved interactive music-making and learning a small
lullabies, nursery rhymes and songs with actions. Parents and infants
together to learn to play percussion instruments, take turns and sing
In the other music class, infants and parents played at various toy
while recordings from the popular Baby Einstein series played in the
Before the classes began, all the babies had shown similar
social development and none had previously participated in other baby
"Babies who participated in the interactive music classes with their
showed earlier sensitivity to the pitch structure in music," says
"Specifically, they preferred to listen to a version of a piano piece
stayed in key, versus a version that included out-of-key notes.
participated in the passive listening classes did not show the same
Even their brains responded to music differently. Infants from the
music classes showed larger and/or earlier brain responses to musical
The non-musical differences between the two groups of babies were even
surprising, say researchers.
Babies from the interactive classes showed better early communication
like pointing at objects that are out of reach, or waving goodbye.
these babies also smiled more, were easier to soothe, and showed less
when things were unfamiliar or didn't go their way.
While both class types included listening to music and all the infants
similar amount of music at home, a big difference between the classes
interactive exposure to music.
"There are many ways that parents can connect with their babies," says
coordinator Andrea Unrau. "The great thing about music is, everyone
loves it and
everyone can learn simple interactive musical games together."
Provided by McMaster University
"Babies' brains benefit from music lessons, researchers find." May