Music lessons for babies?
You've probably heard of the benefits of classical music and music lessons for children. Now a Canadian scientific study shows that music lessons for babies as young as 6 months old can have developmental benefits.
The Wall Street Journal reports that infants in the study took interactive one-hour music lessons once a week for six months. Teachers led the babies in singing, playing percussion instruments, and moving with the music. By the end of the test period, these babies showed significant advances in language and musical skills, as well as greater brain development than babies who had merely listened to classical music while playing with toys. The actively musical babies were also more socially skilled and easier to soothe than their passive counterparts.
So what does this mean to you as a concerned mom always seeking the best for her child? Do you rush right out and sign up your baby for music lessons? I don't know. The study did not clarify exactly what elements of the lessons promoted the developmental advances. Maybe it was the class atmosphere or structure; maybe it was the interaction with the music. Maybe mom (or dad) leading baby to interact with music could produce similar benefits. It's not that hard to shake some maracas.
So, if you refrain from enrolling in music lessons for now, you might want to make a habit of breaking out the musical toys, cranking up some good music, and playing with your baby. Bang on a drum together, jiggle a tambourine, and dance around the room. It'll be fun! And you can feel good about it as it just might give your little one a developmental boost in the right direction.
Here is a link to another story about the same effect: http://the-scientist.com/2012/05/11/music-lessons-benefit-babies/