Early musical training can help the brain development of children even before they become able to walk or talk, according to the first-ever study of its kind.
Researchers of the McMaster University in Ontario, Canada demonstrated that one-year old children who participated in interactive music classes with their parents smiled more, communicated better and showed earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music.
The trail which its results appeared in the journals Developmental Science and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, involved a group of babies and their parents who spent six months participating in one of two types of weekly music instruction.
In one music class, parents and infants worked together to learn to play percussion instruments, take turns and sing specific songs. In the other classes, babies and their parents played at various toy stations while recordings from a popular baby music series played in the background.
“Babies who participated in the interactive music classes with their parents showed earlier sensitivity to the pitch structure in music,” said co-author Laurel Trainor. “Specifically, they preferred to listen to a version of a piano piece that stayed in key, versus a version that included out-of-key notes.”
On the other hand, “infants who participated in the passive listening classes did not show the same preferences. Even their brains responded to music differently. Infants from the interactive music classes showed larger and/or earlier brain responses to musical tones,” adds Trainor.
“Many past studies of musical training have focused on older children. Our results suggest that the infant brain might be particularly plastic with regard to musical exposure,” he concluded.
Source: Press TV - http://goo.gl/zXAZA