Music's Impact: Birth to Preschool
from "Music Advocacy Action Kit," provided
by The Selmer Company for School Reform sessions
presented by Tim Lautzenheiser and Michael Kumer at
the 1999 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago
* Researchers at Keele University have reported that babies
in the womb can hear and remember music as early as 20
weeks gestation. Babies showed signs of recognizing songs
played to them in utero during the mothers' 20th-21st
weeks of pregnancy.
- Nigel Hawkes, "Foetus Has an Ear for Music at 20 Weeks,"
The London Times, March 30, 1998.
* An Eastman research project found dramatic increases in
language development and memory skills between those
children exposed to music and literature in utero and their
siblings who were not.
- Donald J. Shetler, "The Inquiry into Prenatal Musical
Experience: A Report of the Eastman Project 1980-1987."
In "Music and Child Development" edited by Frank Wilson
and Franz Roehmann, (St. Louis, Missouri: MMB Music,
Inc., 1990) 50.
* In a study of fifty-two premature babies and newborns
with low birth weight at the Tallahassee Memorial
Regional Medical Center in Tallahassee, Florida, a
researcher reported that playing sixty-minute tapes of vocal
music, including lullabies and children's songs, reduced
hospital stay an average of five days. Mean weight loss of
babies was also about 50 percent lower for the group of
babies listening to music, formula intake was less, and
stress levels were reduced.
- Janet Caine, "The Effects of Music on the Selected Stress
Behaviors, Weight, Caloric and Formula Intake, and
Length of Hospital Stay of Premature and Low Birth
Weight Neonates in a Newborn Intensive Care Unit,"
Journal of Music Therapy 28 (1991): 180-192.
* At Helen Keller Hospital in Alabama, an experiment
with newborns found that 94 percent of crying babies
immediately fell asleep without a bottle or pacifier when
exposed to lullaby music.
- Lance W. Brunner, "Testimonies Old and New," in
"Music and Miracles," ed. Campbell, pp. 82-84, Caine, "The
Effects of Music," 180-192.
* On the basis of observations and experiments with
newborns, neuroscientists now know that infants are born
with neural mechanisms devoted exclusively to music.
Studies show that early and ongoing musical training
helps organize and develop children's brains.
- Susan Black, "The Musical Mind," The American School
Board Journal, January 1997.
* A researcher at the University of California at Irvine has
found that music and language are inseparably linked as a
single system in the brain. This system is acquired in the
earliest stages of infancy and continues as the child
processes the sounds of human voices around him.
- Robert Garfias, "Thoughts on the Processes of Language
and Music Acquisition." In "Music and Child
Development" edited by Frank Wilson and Franz
Roehmann, (St. Louis, Missouri: MMB Music, Inc., 1990)
* Music--specifically song--is one of the best training
grounds for babies learning to recognize the tones that add
up to spoken language.
- Sandra Trehub, University of Toronto, 1997.
* A research project conducted with three-year-olds in a
Los Angeles preschool tested children's spatial reasoning
after eight months of keyboard and singing lessons. The
children who had received the music training increased
their spatial-temporal reasoning by 46 percent as compared
to a 6 percent increase in the control group that received
no training.
- Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, Linda Levine, Eric
Wright, Wendy Dennis, and Robert Newcomb, "Music
Training Causes Long-term Enhancement of Preschool
Children's Spatial-Temporal Reasoning." Neurological
Research, vol. 19, February 1997.
* Researchers studying the link between music and
intelligence divided preschool children into four groups:
one group received private piano lessons, the second had
private computer training, while the remaining children
were divided among a singing-only group and a no-lesson
group. After six months of training, the groups were tested.
Those in the piano group had the most dramatic
improvement in spatial-temporal reasoning: their scores
increased by 34 percent.
- Amy Graziano, Gordon Shaw, and Eric Wright. "Music
Training Enhances Spatial-Temporal Reasoning in
Young Children: Towards Educational Experiments."
Early Childhood Connections, Summer 1997.
* Dr. Jean Houston of the Foundation for Mind Research
believes that the brains of children not exposed to music
arts education are actually being damaged because these
non-verbal modalities help them with skills such as
reading, writing, and math.
- Sharlene Habermeyer, "Good Music, Brighter Children."
(California: Prima Publishing, 1999).
* Research shows that when a child listens to classical
music the right hemisphere of the brain is activated, but
when a child studies a musical instrument both left and
right hemispheres of the brain "light up." Significantly,
the areas that become activated are the same areas that are
involved in analytical and mathematical thinking.
- Dee Dickinson, "Music and the Mind."
(Seattle: New
Horizons for Learning, 1993).
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