The Powerful Effect of Music on the Baby’s Brain
Did you know that listening to music is linked to a boost in intelligence levels? Neuroscientists who study baby brains have proved that music has long-lasting benefits for babies’ brain development.
According to scientific research, listening to music helps to create and strengthen connections of neurons, i.e. the brain cells, which enables communication among neurons that specialize in different kinds of the brain functions. First of all, an infant’s repeated exposure to music helps the brain build strong music-related neural connections, and some of these music pathways serve to improve spatial reasoning and memory. Secondly, music impacts the regions of the brains responsible both for music and speech and, eventually, thinking, and ignites all areas of a child’s development: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy.
The early years are the most active period for establishing neural connections. And music has an incredibly powerful effect on the baby’s brain.
The benefits of music for kids can be experienced in many forms.
Intuitively, parents play music to their child to soothe, to calm down, to lighten the baby’s mood and reduce anxiety. At the same time, beginning in infancy, parents can nurture the children's love of music – offering different musical selections of various styles, experimenting with sounds, playing with sound and musical toys. Kids’ toys deserve special attention, as they are, undoubtedly, valuable means that can stimulate the brain work and boost development of the auditory skills and musical abilities. Playing with first toys, which produce sound at knocking, shaking, twisting, rustling, the little ones learn to identify and manage sounds. Later on, babies’ songs and lullabies that go together with most interactive toys encourage kids to reproduce rhythms - by swaying, tapping, clapping to the beat they hear - and learn first words at play. Educational toys spark children’s interest both in first learning and music: at play toddlers easily memorize rhymes and sing songs - even in foreign languages! Moving and dancing during such “musical training” promotes motor skills as well.
And musical toys and instruments! Learning to play a musical instrument positively influences the IQ and may have an even longer effect on certain thinking skills. This is because making music requires fine motor skills, linguistic and mathematical precision, and creativity ─ encouraging the simultaneous work of several areas of the brain. To be more precise, development of these skills during music making helps to build the bridge between the two hemispheres of the brain. New research has claimed that learning to play a musical instrument increases intelligence by 10 percent!
Music in all its forms can be incorporated in the daily routine and the learning schedule for children to grow smart, creative and well-rounded persons.