Music have always been very interesting medium to sooth babies. Far than that it was found to have much extended influences and effects to babies and toddlers development.
Classical Music Can Have Powerful Effects Even Before Birth
One recent study demonstrates that children exposed to classical music in the womb show a positive change in physical and mental development after birth. In this experiment, fetuses were exposed to 70 hours of classical music during the last weeks of pregnancy. When studied at six months, these babies were more advanced in terms of motor, linguistic and intellectual development than babies who received no musical stimulus during pregnancy.
Scientists explain that children are born with 100 billion nerve cells in their bodies. These cells, however, are connected only loosely. Each event a baby experiences - such as listening to his mother, seeing a picture, feeling a sheet against his skin, or attempting to touch a toy hanging above - triggers electrical signals (neural impulses) which establish or strengthen the intercellular connections in the brain.
The larger the number of connections in the brain, the richer its functioning. Neural pathways left unused usually die out. Therefore it stands to reason that an infant’s earliest experiences can mold the brain and determine much of the infant’s adult potential. Scientists believe that learning music is one of those “brain-building” experiences.
Music And Intellectual Abilities
Creativity - A study conducted in Hungary found that when children between the ages of three and four were given lessons in singing and playing musical instruments, they obtained higher grades in creativity than children of the same age who did not receive any musical training.
Memory – Three-month-old babies can use music as a means of remembering something they have learned. Babies in one study learned to kick a hanging toy in order to make it move. While they were learning, a particular piece of music was played to them. After seven days the babies remembered that a kick produces movement - but only when they heard the “learning” music being played. Scientists theorize that music gives significance to the learning situation and helps retrieve learned material from memory.
Spatial intelligence - Spatial intelligence is the ability to perceive various relationships in space and understand the visual world. In a
Mathematics - A 1996 study found that first graders who had been given special intensive musical instruction demonstrated considerably more progress in mathematics than classmates who had received a standard musical education. Scientists believe that the connection between music and mathematics is partly related to the fact that music helps children understand concepts such as number series, or relationships between numbers. For example, think of the concept of voice pitch where different voice pitches constitute a series such as `do`, `re`, `mi`, and a relationship between them where `do` is lower than `re`, `re` is lower than `mi` and so on.
Language - There is a close connection between music and linguistic development. Both skills require the ability to differentiate between auditory nuances. In order for an infant to be able to tell the difference between similar sounds such as "B" and "P, she must hone her auditory perception. Listening to complex classical music will contributes greatly to babies’ development of this skill. In fact, music is a type of "language”. It is used to convey messages - messages that induce emotions and ideas in the listener. Listening to music will develop the ability to decode auditory data and sharpen your child’s auditory memory - abilities which are fundamental to language comprehension.
Emotional intelligence - Music can bring on strong emotions. By listening to expressive classical music, babies hone their ability to detect moods and emotions in others, while developing awareness of their own inner processes through the nuances of feeling evoked by the music. Later on, children may use music to express emotions through singing or playing.