Music is one of the most integral and yet beloved aspects of the imaginative human. It is a universal language, a gorgeous world of math, and responsible for a plethora of powerful industries. As developed individuals, we understand music to be an extremely normal and celebrated aspect of life in itself, but a newborn’s path to this notion is structured in a very specific way. Babies are born with literally billions of neurons, and over time these neurons make connections in the brain. These connections are directly related to different kinds of music that they are exposed to in their development. For example, we all know that lullabies are a fundamental characteristic of a child’s early life and introduction to music. This type is of course generally a sleep encouraging tactic used by parents, resulting in a capacity to be soothed and calmed later on, in a familiar sense. But what other kinds of traditional music have effects on our infants’ minds and brainpower?
It is common for people to think classical music makes babies smarter. Many started to embrace this concept due to its exciting and fascinating opinions. Actually one year in Georgia the governor decided to have CD’s donated to families with newborns at hospitals, containing select pieces. It is much more commonly supported and understood that not just with children but with anyone, classical music can improve spatial reasoning, such as efficiency in a jigsaw puzzle. However, this effect is very temporary and can be thought of as a way to “prime the brain for certain kinds of thinking.” (Source 1) This is because the pathways in our brains related to spatial reasoning are similar to those triggered for listening to classical music.
Research at Appalachian State University debunked the spotty belief that classical music played for babies makes them smarter students. They tested this “Mozart effect” and revealed that classical music does not directly correlate with test scores or any kind of intellectual performance.
What’s interesting is the relationship between musical instruments and extended improvement in spatial reasoning. It is believed that children who start lessons in a musical instrument develop a much larger capacity for spatial skills that stem from the patience and intensive detail of training muscles and memory at the same time. This is a very interesting concept that not only strengthens the world of music in its support and importance but in its outreach and applications.
I am a firm believer in the emotional and mental benefits of music, like most people, but I also believe that it can be a sad and often lonely plunge into a more intellectual adventure of the human mind and the way it is supposed to feel. Now I know that yes, music is a helpful and stimulating experience for all people, but the young audiences of certain mathematically sound and thought out pieces take away tools for their minds.
I play guitar, drums, and some piano, but I obviously cannot feel their effects working in the lobes of my brain. But I do know that music has been there for me when I need nothing else, and supplying it, working on it, and perfecting it is the only way I know of giving back.
No, the works of Mozart and Bach will not allow your babies to pick their college of choice, but they will tap into very useful and powerful abilities that help day to day motives become more efficient. And who knows, maybe consistently tapping into those parts of the brain, in a way, truly does make us smarter.