Sound or audio is a vital criterion in the cognitive growth and development of the human brain.
As important as music is to our everyday life, it is a sonic tool used to expose the child’s development in many areas. Doing this will not only increase positive social interactions but also ensure that a child grows up strong and healthy.
Did you know that a creative brain comes from how healthy a baby is while growing up? Or have you ever considered why a lullaby has the ability to slow down a baby’s heart and as a result a calmer baby?
According to research, a baby hears its very first sound around 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. And that by listening to music during pregnancy, the pregnant woman and her baby will find it positively soothing and uplifting.
Music expert Dr. Ibrahim Baltagi tells UNICEF that babies start to develop responses to voices and noise by 24 weeks (the last few months of pregnancy). And that an unborn child ‘can recognise her mother’s voice, her native language, word patterns and rhymes’ — the same way we hear underwater. He goes on to explain a positive development and skills in preparations to begin school, especially in areas covering language and reading skills.
But, is there scientific evidence to back up the idea that playing music for an unborn child will improve the baby’s intelligence? In 1993, the scientific journal Nature published a short paper introducing the so-called “Mozart effect”. In its study involving only 36 college students, the results suggested students who listened to Mozart before a test fared better than those who didn’t. Controversially, the effects weren’t permanent. But it spawned an industry that sold brain-boosting music to pregnant mums. A proof that it is the parent’s natural desire to do what’s best for their children.
While studies of chicks and rats when exposed to music before birth have shown increased ability to navigate mazes. Scientists explain this exposure as a new generation of neurons in the brain although still hesitating to claim that it has any such similar effects on humans.
Podcast Recommendation for Kids:
Music Education: Noodle Loaf is an interactive music education podcast for kids. Episodes contain fun music for kids, movement activities, rhythm games and plenty of learning through play. The show is created by Dan Saks, a musician, early childhood music educator and best-selling children’s book author. Purchase or listen to the podcast on Dan Saks’s website here.
If Mozart cannot make your little one any smarter, it may create a more active brain. Studies have shown increased brain activity when babies in the womb are exposed to music.
While some interesting studies suggest that children who pursue learning a musical instrument were tested to have gained higher marks in their SATs and reading proficiency exams. Others say classical music makes a difference in a baby’s IQ.
Osteopathic physician and OB-GYN Octavia Cannon, co-owner of Arboretum Obstetrics and Gynecology in Charlotte, North Carolina, says any music that has repetition and varied pitch should be effective, though musical taste would be more likely to develop after birth. Cannon says she often tells her patients to play music for their babies while pregnant and suggests they play music when they want to get the baby to move. Beyond that, if nothing else, listening to music should benefit the mother because it lowers stress and lower stress benefits the baby as well.
At this stage, you may be wondering what sort of music we’re talking about? Music tends to ignite and inspire emotions. Anything from a quiet lullaby, gentle instrumentals, classical music, or anything that inspires happiness are great choices. But if you’re still confused as to what sort of music would be suitable, here are a few of our selections. Please note that our selections are not a clinical solution to your health. Remember to check with your physician for any queries regarding pregnancy’s must-do’s and don’ts.
- Nova Relaxing Music: Relaxing, Peaceful, Soothing Music for pregnant women (click here)
- Cafe Music BGMC: Relaxing Guitar Hawaii (click here)
- Baby Relax Channel: Lullaby Mozart for babies (click here)