Music has many benefits in different areas of life. It can help students with focus and relaxation. Are there benefits for babies, as well? As a teacher curious about the benefits of music, I decided to do some research to find out if exposing babies to music early on is a good idea. Below are my findings.
Benefits of music for babies
- Helps with language development
- Improve listening and communication skills
- Promote sensory development
- Improve mood
- Encourage math skill
The listed benefits have details you will want to know about, if you want to give your baby the most benefits from music. This will be explained further below. In addition, you will learn how to choose the right music for your baby, and when to expose your baby to music. Briefly, you will also learn about the use of music alternatives, such as white noise to soothe a baby.
Exposure to music broadens a baby experience and knowledge of a language. Music exposes them to new vocabulary and words, and new context of using these words. These exposures also provides babies with auditory learning of pronunciation. This helps them to understand the sound of letters in words.
By listening to more words and their usage through music, babies are able to passively increase their ability to listen and process information. This development trains a foundation skill in auditory processing. Ability in auditory processing will help your child better process information provided during lessons, which is immensely useful in school and in their lifelong learning.
Improve listening and communication skills
Lyrics in music can provide a passive listening experience. This exposure helps babies to improve their listening ability.
Words in music, especially emotionally charged ones, can foster empathy and better communication skill in listeners. For babies, this can teach them to be better communicator. It provides babies with the exposure of different ways to communicate. This gives your baby more ideas of expressing and verbalising thoughts, which helps with developing communication skill.
Promote sensory development
Dancing and moving to music can engage your baby’s sensory motor skill. Movement together with music can develop network of associations between movement and rhythm in your baby’s body.
You can further increase the sensory experience of music by engaging your baby with musical props. These musical props can be simple musical instrument, such as bells, tambourines or drums. Allow your baby to use the musical props in an active manner. This can involve hitting the beats of the music being played, or creatively strumming some beats together.
Music has a natural ability to bring out our emotions. This works on babies as well. A common example is singing lullabies to soothe a baby into a relax mood. Lullabies are exceptionally useful to calm down your crying or unhappy baby.
You can help your baby feel positive mood by using upbeat music.
Encourage math skill
Named after the famous music composer, “The Mozart Effect“. A term used to describe the correlation between math ability and musical ability. This suggests that exposing your baby to music can take advantage of the Mozart effect.
When to expose babies to music?
You can expose your baby to music during pregnancy. Babies start to hear around 16-18 weeks into pregnancy.
Music exposure can be beneficial for both the mother and unborn baby. They can benefit from the soothing and uplifting effect of music.
Choosing an appropriate music
A popular music option is classical music. Many believe that classical music can make their babies smarter, as discussed above, through the Mozart effect. In addition, the melodic tunes and rhythmic tunes of classical music can be emotionally calming.
Other smart music option are uplifting musical beats.
Music alternatives – White Noise
White noise is a constant ambient sound that you can use to help soothe your baby. These sounds can be ambient noise from nature, or the sound of train moving. They help to mask the background noise coming from your environment, which makes it more pleasant.
You can find apps that can generate white noise of your choice. Some apps even allow you to mix different ambient sounds to get your favorite combination of sound.
There are also dedicated devices that generate white noise. This can be ideal if you do not want to drain your phone’s battery generating white noise, or to leave the device near your baby. You can find these devices sold on Amazon.
Music has many benefits for your baby. It can be used to soothe or help your baby to sleep. Importantly, music can have positive long-term impact on your baby’s mental development. It is a good idea to expose your baby to music as early as possible.
Engage your baby with music (Getting Edugaged)
- Start early. Begin listening to music during pregnancy.
- Choose a list of music. Create your musical playlist.
- Engage with your baby by combining music, dance, and play. Use musical props while dancing and play.