” Can musical training help babies learn language? “

If you think about it, music and spoken language have a lot in common. They both use tones and rhythms. And studies indicate that there is some overlap in the ways that the brain processes music and speech. If you are good at listening to music, you tend to be good at listening to language (Ong et al 2017), and this may apply to babies as well as adults.

For example, in one study, researchers presented newborn babies with musical sounds — a recording of an adult singing a series of syllables in a continuous, melodic stream. While the babies listened, the researchers also measured the infants’ brain activity, and there was a pattern: Newborns who showed enhanced neural processing during the singing went on to develop more advanced vocabularies when they were toddlers (Francois et al 2017).

So can we promote language development by exposing babies to music? There is circumstantial evidence in favor of the idea. In a study tracking 36 babies over time, infants who heard a lot of parental singing at 6 months tended to experience better language outcomes at 14 months (Franco et al 2022). And there is experimental evidence, too.

In one case, 9-month-old babies participated a series of 15-minute sessions where they listened to music in triple meter (the waltz). During these sessions, parents helped the babies move in sync with the beat, by bouncing them, tapping toes, or encouraging the infants to play with percussive musical toys (like a rattle).

READ more at: https://parentingscience.com/can-musical-training-help-babies-learn-language/

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