We all want our children to grow up smart and we try to help them progress as much as possible. For those who want to give their child the best start in life, you may be interested in the Mozart Effect. Here we’ll take a look at what it is and if it can help your baby develop.
What is the Mozart Effect?
The Mozart effect theory was started in 1993 by Rauscher et al., claiming that listening to Mozart may make you a more intelligent person. The study was based on a fifteen-minute improvement on a mental task such as folding paper and solving a maze puzzle. This study was called “Mozart makes you smart,” It was said to be applied to children and babies as well with positive results, but the real question remains: Does the music really make you smarter?
Does Music Really make you smarter?
Music may or may not make you smarter. This statement can be discouraging for those parents who have encouraged their children to learn music from a very young age. A recent study was conducted by Giovanni Sala (Fujita Health University) and Fernand Gobet (London School of Economics).
They performed an analysis on the effects of music lessons on the scores of students’ memory tests that measured their reasoning skills, literacy skills, or ability to solve mathematics problems. The results showed that students who received music education did not automatically score better on tests that show their intelligence or academic ability.
However, music can still be better for children in non-cognitive ways, such as prosocial behaviour and self-esteem. Listening to music does affect the brain. It provides a medium of dealing with complex emotional responses attributed to humanity.
In recent brain research, it was concluded that the music learning experience changes the brain organization and brain processing, and trained musician brains are organized differently.
They operate differently than untrained musician brains. It is said that early childhood experiences with music such as lullabies, musical crib mobiles, musical toys, and other similar experiences can promote the development of the neural networks necessary for later music processing.
Musical therapy has been a very effective mode of treatment for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly people are encouraged to play different musical instruments or learn how to play a new musical instrument.
A continued mental and emotional activity is also an effective antidote against cognitive decline.
Music therapy has also been used to treat handicapped individuals. Some studies have shown that some of the students’ lives have changed through musical therapy. There are definitely some mysterious aspects of music that can help us feel better and more intelligent.
The Mozart effect theory claims that children’s exposure to Mozart’s music at an early age can help with cognitive development.
According to this theory playing Mozart stimulates brain development, improves IQ, and spurs creativity in children. Playing Mozart to your baby during pregnancy stimulates the growth of sophisticated neural trails that can help the brain processing information.
How to help your baby develop their brain
There are some other ways where you can help your baby to develop their brain. You can play games with them that involve hand movements such as patty-cake, peekaboo, this little piggy, or even puppets. The hand movement will catch your baby’s attention, and it’s suitable for their hand and eye coordination.
Playing with puppets with babies sparks their imagination and provides an interactive play at the same time. Choosing a suitable toy for your child is very important for their brain development.
For example, toys such as Jack in the box or stacking building blocks on top of each other helps your baby learn the “cause and effect relationship” and “if-then” reasoning.
Talk to your baby as much as you can with full attention, a high-pitched voice, and facial expressions. This helps your baby absorb your language’s sound, which is very beneficial for brain development.
Sing nursery rhymes to your baby, using body motion and finger play. For example, you can wave your arms while singing “rain, rain go away or Twinkle, Twinkle little star.”
If it is age-appropriate for your child, you can let them play with water, sand, slime, or even goop.
This will help your child build different sensory experiences promoting brain development.
There are various toys in the market for sensory-motor play such as the Baby Einstein Jumper which is excellent for children to experience different sensory material crucial for brain development.
Also, give your baby clear responses to their action. Your body language and your hand gesture can send positive signals necessary for their brain development. Reading books to your baby can help them learn words quickly.
Choose books with large colourful pictures and read to them, making sounds where it applies. They will be engaged and develop a sense of language early on.
The best thing you can do for your baby is to start at an early stage. Research shows that talking to your baby and reading to your baby while in the womb can help them develop a connection with you, and they will recognize your voice quickly.
Expose your child to Mozart music early on and other soft music lessons.
Let your baby play with a toy musical instrument. Let them listen to different sounds of music.
It will help them to develop a sense of different sounds. You can sing soft lullabies to them during nap time and even play soft Mozart music in the background.
Giving your babies a nice massage before bedtime can also help them reduce stress and give them a sense of emotional security.
Soothing your baby, nurturing, and cuddling them can build positive brain circuitry in the brain’s limbic area, which is involved with emotions.
When your baby is playing on the floor, get on the floor with them and play. Babies who feel emotionally secure will spend more time exploring, learning, and discovering new things.
Babies love music in general, so exposing them to Mozart and other sounds of music will help them improve their cognitive development, and it will also help to soothe and calm them when they are stressed or throwing a tantrum.
Music can help raise happy kids, and it will make your life easier when you are taking care of them.
Music lessons, especially learning to play an instrument, leaves a long-term effect on brain development and spatial reasoning.