Monday, February 2, 2009

Baby Bop

Being someone who loves music, one of my favorite factoids to tell parents is that singing or playing vocal music to their children actually promotes early literacy skills. Because notes move on the syllable rather than the whole word, kids who hear a lot of vocal music aren't surprised by the whole syllable concept because they already know words have smaller parts. If you want to get technical about it, this is called phonemic awareness.

Now here's a study that shows even three-day-old babies have a sense of music and rhythm. They're not yet sure why, but the study's co-author put forward this theory:
Following a beat is a vital part of cultural activities, from following the rhythm of a conversation to dancing or playing music with another person, Honing says. It's possible that babies are born with a musical sense because it helps communication.
Not news to those of us who've ever caught a baby's attention with a simple rendition of "Frere Jacques," but it's nice to be backed up scientifically.

Plus, they enjoy it, and so do you. What better reason?

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