Here’s How Music May Benefit Your Baby

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By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay ReporterMONDAY, April 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Can listening to music boost your baby’s brainpower?Maybe, at least in specific ways. A new study suggests that listening to music with a waltz-like rhythm—a difficult form of rhythm for infants to comprehend—and tapping out the beats with their parents improved babies’ processing of music patterns and speech sounds.”Actively participating in music may be another important experience that can influence infants’ brain development and help them learn,” said study lead author T. Christina Zhao. She’s a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in Seattle.However, the researchers said that it’s not clear how long the effect of listening to music may last or how much exposure to music is needed to make improvements in music- and speech-pattern processing.Previous research—known popularly as the “Mozart effect”—on how music in early childhood might have a positive impact on young children’s brain development has had mixed results. The differences were likely due to the design of the studies, the authors of the new study suggested.For the new study, researchers randomly assigned 39 nine-month-old babies to be exposed to music or serve as a control group.Nineteen of the babies made up the control group. These children played with toys during a dozen 15-minute sessions in a month.The other 20 babies listened to “recordings of children’s music played while an experimenter led the…

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