“Many studies have looked at how singing and speech affect infants’ attention, but we wanted to know how they affect a baby’s emotional self-control,” explained Professor Isabelle Peretz, of the university’s Center for Research on Brain, Music and Language. “Emotional self-control is obviously not developed in infants, and we believe singing helps babies and children develop this capacity.” The study involved thirty healthy infants aged between six and nine months.
“Our findings leave little doubt about the efficacy of singing nursery rhymes for maintaining infants’ composure for extended periods,” Peretz said. “Even in the relatively sterile environment of the testing room-black walls, dim illumination, no toys, and no human visual or tactile stimulation–the sound of a woman singing prolonged infants’ positive or neutral states and inhibited distress.”
The findings are important because mothers, and Western mothers in particular, speak much more often than they sing to their children, missing out on the emotion-regulatory properties of singing.
Université de Montréal: http://nouvelles.umontreal.ca/en/article/2015/10/28/singing-calms-baby-longer-than-talking/
BENEFIT: MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
TARGET GROUP: BABIES
AGE: 6-9 MONTHS
MUSIC TYPE: SINGING
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 30
PERIOD OF STUDY: UNKNOWN