I mostly wrote this post to share a great video someone shared on facebook of twin girls dancing at 11 months to their dad playing guitar. After seeing the video, I decided to look up a few things about music and babies.
First, here’s the great video, pay attention to how the girls react when the song starts 🙂 Also, make sure to scroll to the bottom to see the same girls dancing at 19 months!
Some research about music and babies: A study back in 2010 found that “Babies love a beat, according to a new study that found dancing comes naturally to infants.”
Some highlights from the article:
The research showed babies respond to the rhythm and tempo of music, and find it more engaging than speech.
The findings, based on a study of 120 infants between 5 months and 2 years old, suggest that humans may be born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.
“Our research suggests that it is the beat rather than other features of the music, such as the melody, that produces the response in infants,” said researcher Marcel Zentner, a psychologist at the University of York in England. “We also found that the better the children were able to synchronize their movements with the music, the more they smiled.”
The researchers found the babies moved their arms, hands, legs, feet, torsos and heads in response to the music, much more than to speech.
Here’s a video from the study!
So after great videos of babies and music, here’s some info about music therapy from the American Music Therapy Association:
What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music therapy interventions can be designed to:
- Promote Wellness
- Manage Stress
- Alleviate Pain
- Express Feelings
- Enhance Memory
- Improve Communication
- Promote Physical Rehabilitation
Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in a wide variety of healthcare and educational settings. For further information, please explore the rest of this site including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.
Here’s a link from their site about Music Therapy and Young Children.
Here’s a recent article about a study of the effects of music on babies in the NICU:
Determining what kind of music worked was critical with premature infants, Loewy said, because of the danger of overstimulating their tiny systems.
The study, published in the journal of Pediatrics in April, tested three interventions: a drumlike gato box (to replicate heartbeat), a disc full of beads that made a “wooshing” womb-like sound when tipped, and sung lullabies that were part of the family’s community or culture. All of the interventions were calibrated for volume, pitch and rhythm to match each baby’s vital signs.
Results showed overall improved feeding and sleeping behaviors and sucking patterns, all things that can lead to shorter hospital stays and improved outcomes, Loewy said.
Here’s a video of the 11 month old girls from the top video, who are now 19 months old and are standing and dancing to music. As you can see from the video, dancing is a great activity to work on standing balance 🙂