Over the past two decades there has been much research about the benefits of music for young children. However, just recently we have uncovered new data about positive effects from input beginning as young as at six-months of age.
Here is the exciting new twist. While all music experiences for babies proved to be worthwhile, active ones turned out to be the best. Singing, movement, and playing percussion instruments were identified as factors that made a difference.
These are advances of the active listening group over the passive one that showed up by one-year of age.
- More sophisticated musical understanding
- Earlier language skills
- More advanced brain development
- Stronger preferences for a specific kind of music
- More socially advanced
- Easier to soothe
Of course, more research is needed to support this one study to figure out what parts of the active music program actually cause specific effects. However, research like this is a good start and definitely points us in the right direction.
NOTE: Babies learn to speak by a completely interactive process. Listening to TV or the radio is not enough. Responding to spoken language little by little in an on-going fashion is a necessary part of the process. Therefore, it does make sense that learning music and the corresponding brain development that goes along with it also result from interaction.