Babies: MUSIC AND THE MIND
In recent years, it has become difficult to talk about the development of the brain without talking about music. Music’s positive impact on everything from reading ability to math skills has made headlines all over the world and has earned the attention of everyone from parents to policymakers. The main point that has emerged from the research is this: some of the same parts of the brain that enable your child to enjoy music are also the same parts of the brain that enable her to do long division – or graphic design or architecture.
The musical sounds a baby hears will create neural pathways in the growing mind…if music is ignored or left to chance during the early years, so much potential can be lost.”
CECILIA RIDDELL, EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC EDUCATOR
“…music is one of the few art forms that occurs over time. It requires mental imagery, transforming mental images and being able to reason in sequence. It seems as if music and science share some common things.” FRANCES H. RAUSCHER, DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Many experts now believe that music contributes directly to the development of spatial reasoning skills, such as those needed to finish a jigsaw puzzle or to visualize how that crib is supposed to go together. That is why listening to music, or better yet, learning to play it, helps make children better readers, better mathematicians and better musicians.
Because babies love music and have an innate understanding of it, all we need to do is nurture that ability and we spark a higher level of intellectual development. The effect on intellectual performance of all kinds is not only dramatic, but long-lasting – and all this from something that’s fun, relatively easy and makes them feel good.
The wonderful thing about music is that you do not have to know anything about it to enjoy it or benefit from its effects. As your baby grows, she will become more sensitive to different musical sounds, and will become more adept at producing her own musical vocalizations.