Interactive music activities may benefit babies’ brains

Interactive music activities may benefit babies’ brains

There are parents who believe that exposing their babies to music can influence these newborn’s cognitive development. Based on the results of a recent study by researchers from the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind, interactive music classes can go a long way in making babies’ brains more sophisticated.

The research, which appears in the scientific journals "Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences" and "Developmental Science," was made possible by an award from the Grammy Foundation. This allowed the researchers to see what impact participation in one of two types of music instruction had on babies.

One of the music classes required parents and infants to learn how to play percussion instruments, as well as songs, nursery rhymes and lullabies. The second class allowed parents and their babies to play at various stations while music from the Baby Einstein series played in the background.

Babies who participated in the first classes were found to develop better communications skills early on and tended to smile more.

"They preferred to listen to a version of a piano piece that stayed in key, versus a version that included out-of-key notes," said Laurel Trainor, director of the McMaster Institute.

If parents exposed their newborns to music, they may want to have these children take an IQ test for kids when they are a little older to measure its effects on their cognitive development.

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