Imagine this: You are safe inside your mother’s womb. You don’t want to be anywhere else but here, where it’s warm and nourishment abounds. You sleep and wake, play with your umbilical cord and kick the liquid around you. You hear her heartbeat and it’s simply music to your ears. Then suddenly, you’re being pushed out of your haven into a bright light. You’ve been taken out of your comfortable den and it’s so darn cold. Wouldn’t that make you cry?
Putting things in a baby’s perspective will make it easier to understand how music affects a baby’s well-being. The constant beat that the baby heard in the comfort of the womb is the first music it hears. It lulled the baby to sleep and woke him up too. All that was gone when he was born, until the mother held him close to her chest, then he heard the soothing heartbeat once more.
Scientific studies say that the heartbeat is the child’s connection to that place where he was first conceived and felt loved. The baby associates it to comfort and being safe. This is how music comes into play. Since music is a series of rhythmic beats, the baby is receptive to it, as compensation to what was heard and felt during the fetal stage. This is why it’s easy to lull the baby so sleep with any kind of song.
A receptive mind is capable of many things, more so for the brain that’s less than three years old. The growth and retention capacity of the brain is most active at this stage. As the brain is relaxed, it is at its full functionality so it develops faster. Not only that. The production of hormones balances out and manifests into a happy baby.
Experiments using classical music with kids have conclusively shown that it boosts brain activity. Known as the “Mozart Effect”, babies exposed to the classics exhibit better intelligence enabling them to walk and speak earlier than normal. There are also speculations of brain development in a fetus when exposed to music at this early stage of life. But experts say that the direct link between music and the fetus can’t be proven at this time. Some parents reacted to this, expressing that their babies are smarter because of having them listen to music while still in the womb.
Music is the safest and cheapest way to put a baby in a happy disposition. Attention, love and care from the parents are still the best fail-safe way to ensure a baby’s growth and development.