Friday, March 22, 2013

Make Way for Music

Make Way for Music in the FRC
There has been much said about music and its effect on the brain.  It was not so long ago that what many call Mozart Mania found parents, parents-to-be and even early learning professionals in a frenzy of purchasing products that might enhance learning and influence brain development.  Many of us turned to Baby Einstein and similar programs for their promise of giving our children a boost.  So you might wonder, is there any truth to any of the hype?  The publication Science News gives us some insight into how musical sounds and even instrumental playing can affect brain development prenatally and beyond. 

Early Melodies and More
“Babies are born with a musical readiness that includes a basic sense of timing and rhythm,” says psychobiologist Colwyn Trevarthen of the University of Edinburgh. Infants can do much more than pick up beats and mimic melodies.  There are undertones of music that babies can turn into emotional banter with adults who attend to their needs.  Many moms and even dads are guilty of speaking to little ones in an exaggerated mix of high-pitched words, sounds and singing, all of which can have a lasting impact on infants who are attracted to the sounds. This googly-talk can become even more powerful when combined with attentive eye contact and joyful facial expressions.

Trevarthen and like-minded researchers call this wordless conversation “communicative musicality.” Babies’ natural musical aptitude gets them in sync with mothers. (Science News, 2010)

More on music next week!  In the meantime, check the DuPage Children's Museum calendar for Third Thursday events, including Nancy Culp and Make Way for Music each third Thursday of the month in the Family Resource Center from 10:30 until 11 a.m.

Resource: Bower, Bruce (2010). Science News, “Birth of the Beat.”

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