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Mozart, Bach, Beethoven - as some of the most famous classical geniuses in the world, you'd think (or hope) that some of those brainy "pheromones" would rub off on your sleeping baby.
Sadly, it doesn't work quite like that. But could there be any actual benefits on brain development by playing classical music for babies?
If you've heard of the Mozart effect, a phenomenon where listening to Mozart is believed to boost IQ scores, chances are you've ruled the theory out as a myth. While listening to classical music doesn't effect general intelligence, it could help with relaxation, brain stimulation, and a few other benefits.
We've put together a list of some reasons why you might want to consider introducing music into your little one's life, and of course, which composer will inspire them.
Even before birth, music can play an important role in your child's life. Music is expressive, creative, and can create a bonding experience between you and your child!
Music effects how we think, feel, and even see the world around us. It's no surprise that engaging the brain with music helps enhance development with functionality, creativity, and even communication.
Most of us have an automatic response to sing or hum when we are trying to soothe a crying baby and help coax them to sleep. Most of the time it proves to be an effective method and here's why:
Music can have a profound impact on our emotions. Soft notes with gentle, repetitive melodies such as classical music, lullabies, and other soft instrumental songs are perfect to play before bedtime.
Babies respond best to a familiar, warming voice - generally that of their mother's, and can even hear and react to noise during the third trimester of pregnancy. Lullabies have been known to slow down a baby's heart rate, producing a calm and comforting effect for a more restful sleep for your little one.
One counter to the Mozart Effect stems from the idea that children are stimulated by an "enjoyment arousal" rather than exclusively classical music.
Music of any kind can act as a stimuli for enjoyment and creativity, especially those who engage in active learning such as playing an instrument, singing, or incorporating synchronized movement. Researchers have found that children introduced to these forms of music have performed better both intellectually and creatively.
One study of kindergarteners in California showed that children who were given piano lessons received a 34% better success rate in completing a jigsaw puzzle than children who were given computer lessons at the same time.
Studies have shown that introducing your child to music even before they can walk or talk can actually benefit language development and learning habits once born.
Repeated exposure to music can help babies distinguish similar auditory sounds, like "Pa" from "Ma" and contribute to fundamental language comprehension.
Babies who engage interactively with music through lullabies, nursery rhymes, and action-based songs have proven to smile more, show upper level responses to music, and be more engaged with the world around them than those who only listen passively to music in the background.
If your itching to give the classics a try, there are a wide range of musical geniuses out there to pick from. But which classical music composer caters best for your baby?
Perhaps they're a traditional Mozart stan, or maybe more of a Bach or Vivaldi? We've got the inside scoop on selecting the perfect composer - or, why not try a combination of all!
As one of the most prolific composers of his time (and still today!) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been recognized as one of the best and most influential composers of the classical period, composing over 800 works - some of his most popularized works such as "Sonata No. 11", "Serenade No. 13", "Requiem", "Don Giovanni" and many others are distinctively recognizable today when we think of classical music.
As a child prodigy himself, Mozart is a classic choice to introduce to your baby. Mozart babies are grounded and interested in the good stuff - they know what's good despite if it's popular or not, and a catchy tune will always be engaging to them. You can't really go wrong rocking your baby to sleep to a grandeur symphony or two.
Ludwig van Beethoven is another big-name star among the classical world. As a German composer and pianist who's extensive repertoire is among one of the most commonly performed, Beethoven paved the way for classical music, bridging between the Classic period and Romantic Era.
Beethoven is great for babies with a vivid imagination, thirst for knowledge, and are gentle romantics at heart. "Für Elise", "Moonlight Sonata No. 14", "Adelaide, Op. 46", and the "Eroica Symphony" are all great picks to lull your baby to sleep with or have playing as a comforting background noise.
If you're at all familiar with classical music, Bach is sure to be another forerunner on your favorites list - even if classical music isn't really your thing, you'll be sure to have heard of some of Bach's orchestral and instrumental compositions. A few of his most popularized minuets include "Suite No. 1", "Suite No. 3", and the Brandenburg Concertos.
Bach is known for his organized harmonies, melodic flow, and vibrant rhythms that can sway us to sleep or into a calmer state of mind. His works are best for babies who need a little extra help settling down and soothing troubled cries - it's arguably impossible not to be charmed by his genius compositions.
Among the many founding fathers of classical music, Antonio Vivaldi is another top pick of ours for babies. His selection of celebrated concertos, choral works, and instrumental masterpieces prove that there's something ingenious and moving about this Italian composer and violinist.
His most famous concerti include The Four Seasons, L’estro Armonico, and various concertos for violin, mandolin, flute, and even trumpet. If you're looking to inspire your baby through classical music, Vivaldi is your guy!
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