The Power of Music


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — There are many benefits to singing to babies; from music development to forming language skills. But music may also have a surprising effect on those spending time with little ones.

Clapping, snapping, and tapping can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also help babies bond with unfamiliar faces.  Research psychologists in Canada observed 14-month-old infants as their parents held them in their laps. Then the researchers either sang a song to the infant or stood quietly as the parent read to them. Then the researchers had the kids participate in a series of helping tasks. They found the infants who were sung to helped more, especially if the song was familiar.

This suggests that infants were more likely to form a bond with the people if they had sung a familiar song to them. So parents, if you are trying to get your child to bond with grandma, grandpa and all the friends in between, having them sing a familiar tune can go a long way in building that relationship.

In a previous study, it was found that songs sung by parents had the most powerful effect. Infants were more likely to pay attention to an unfamiliar person if the person was singing a familiar song the infant’s parent sang to them and not a song that was sung by someone over video chat or that was coming from a toy.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.