Music can do some amazing things for your baby in more ways than you probably realize.
While it’s long been rumored that playing classical music for an infant can boost brain development, a new study aimed to examine just exactly how music affects a baby’s brain development, according to a University of Washington statement.
Researchers found that listening to music that has a waltz-like rhythm, which is difficult for infants to process, helped babies to proess music patterns and speech.
The results aren’t conclusive, and much more research will be needed — it’s not clear how much music listening is needed to get positive results. However, it does fall in line with previous research on the phenomenon, which is often called the “Mozart effect.”
The study examined 39 babies at nine months of age, and either exposed them to music or had them act as a control group, with both groups split up fairly evenly. The 20 babies that listened to music and had their parents tap out the beats in time to the music showed interesting results in their subsequent brain scans: they appeared to be able to detect the disruption in the rhythm.
“Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech,” lead author Christina Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher at I-LABS, said in the statement.