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What is happening in babies' brains during music?

During the first three years of life, our brains grow at an extraordinary rate: With every new experience, brain cells link to others, and babies’ brains form about 700 new connections per second just in the first year. Experiences determine which of these neural connections are “saved” for life, shaping brains for future learning. Because music-making activates so much of the brain during this time of incredible plasticity, music experiences uniquely support growth across multiple domains.

During music experiences involving face-to-face singing and activities like tapping babies to the music, important chemicals can be released in the brain, commonly resulting in decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones—as well as enhanced muscular coordination and tone and regulation of the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems.

Read about of how music shapes development, along with activities to try with your little ones.

Music + Your Baby: Talking or Singing?

Parents are sometimes surprised to hear that they can start Music Together® classes with their babies as soon after birth as they’d like. That’s because all children are born music-makers. Yes, your baby’s cries, coos, and squeals are also their first attempts at singing! How do babies go from “aahh!” to “do, re, mi”? Like all early learning, it starts with parent and caregiver support.

Think about how children learn language. Babies are not born with the ability to speak their language; rather, they are born with the potential to learn to speak their language. It’s only through prolonged exposure to language and practice making sounds (babbling) that children acquire language competency. The same is true for music-learning. We’re all born with the potential to learn music—and with lots of exposure to music and chances to practice musical sounds, we can each learn to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm...  Read more 

Posted March 31, 2021 by Music Together Worldwide

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