Playing music can be a popular and in many ways effective way to stimulate creative and academic instincts in babies. According to studies from Washington University, including music into a babies play time can improve their speech and annunciation over time. The research suggests that cadences of music can also helps babies predict rhythmic patterns of speech (Christina Zhao, PhD, 2016).
This method works through including music into daily activities or even just at play time. While the music is playing it is encouraged that the parents or guardians move in some way to match the rhythm of the music. After taking magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans, researchers found that opposed to babies with no exposure to music, babies who had music had stronger brain responses in their auditory cortex and prefrontal cortex. As we know the auditory cortex has plays a role in understanding annunciation and different tones of speech. The prefrontal cortex controls certain personality traits, behaviors, speech, and reading capabilities. These two cortex have a significant purpose especially in child development before an infant can speak. The study’s findings concurred that music had a role in the brain development of babies.
The study was conducted by having 20 babies exposed to music during play time while 19 babies had play time without music. The study consisted of 12, 15 minute sessions of leisurely play over the course of a month. Though both groups were give toys or objects to occupy them, the children who had music had a stronger caliber of brain activity than those without music. This was a perfect example of a randomized controlled experiment because every participant received equal treatment with the exception of one variable, the music. Randomizing the experiment also provided validity both internal and external. It is easier to conclude this method works for a majority of babies from a study which has been conducted with random selection.
Music can be defined infinitely through sound patterns, talking, sounds that animals make, etc. Sound is a key component of child development in cognition. The musical exposure method for babies can give more explanation for this process in stimulating intelligence. A parent who talks to the baby constantly in everyday activities or during playtime can also give a similar effect on the brain that music has.
Kuhl, P. K. (2015). Baby talk. Scientific American, (5), 64
How Music Rocks a Baby’s Responses to Speech. (2016, April 27). Retrieved July 25, 2016, from http://www.hearingreview.com/2016/04/music-rocks-babys-responses-speech/