The theory dictating that music is beneficial for the brains of children has been around for quite some time. A couple of years ago, after the Mozart-effect paradigm was introduced to the general public, parents were storming music stores buying “Mozart for Babies” or “Beethoven for Babies” CDs.
But is music that efficient when it comes to improving a toddler’s brainpower? A couple of new studies down the road, the answer is still yes. The complicated tunes of a waltz are exactly what a growing baby brain needs in order to develop its cognitive abilities.
In order to see whether or not music influences the cognitive abilities of children, the researchers gathered a sample of 39 restless toddlers with an average age of nine months. They then divided them into two separate groups.
The first group was the control one where the children would come 12 times a month to the laboratory where the experiment took place and play with their favorite toys.
The members of the second group were encouraged to play with their parents while mimicking the tunes played in the background. Basically, what the toddlers and the parents had to do was pick up any object that makes noise and try and replicate the sounds of the tunes that the researchers played.
The scientists chose children songs that were composed in triple meter, such as the waltz. They did so because, according to them, the waltz is a bit difficult for them to understand at that age.
After all the children spent a month imitating songs or simply playing with their toys, the researchers scanned their brains with an MRI machine.
While being scanned, all of the children were played a song with a continuous rhythm that was sometimes disrupted in order to see how their brain processes this kind of events. It appears that the children who were left to engage in non-musical activities did not react to the disruptions in rhythm while the others were able to detect the abnormality.
According to the researchers, the capabilities of the latter demonstrate the fact that music is beneficial for the brains of children, making them more aware of the environment. Moreover, the scientists believe that the toddlers who are raised to react to music are capable of discerning speech more rapidly than those who have no soundtrack during their playtime.
Furthermore, the study shows that music is beneficial for the brains of children because they have used waltzes during the experiment. It seems that some experts believe that Mozart is too difficult for children to tackle.
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