Benefits of Music Therapy for Newborns, Infants & NICU Babies

Why Music?

Studies show that babies are programmed to move to music and are said to prefer it over simple speech sounds. (Turgeon H, 2010).

Infant’s Music Preferences

They are first attracted to simple and repetitive, consonant, higher pitched melodies and faster tempos. (Walworth, 2012)

Music. Therapy. Baby. Infant. Dad Playing the Piano. Find Your Voice Music Therapy.

Why Should I Sing to My Baby?

Singing to your baby, “with its complete package of physical contact, mutual gazing, responsive timing and rhythmical movement,” allows you to fully engage and adapt to your baby’s needs, in the moment. (Young, 2003).

Experts suggest that when we interact musically with our babies, oxytocin
is released—otherwise known as the “bonding hormone”.

So do not feel silly when you are singing or making all kinds of unique sounds with your baby. These melodious interactions are only bringing you closer together! (Eridwen, 2012)

Music Therapy Activities

• Listening to Music
• Cooing and Vocalizing
• Singing Music
• Playing Instruments
• Songwriting and Composing • Improvising
• Movement and Dancing

An Infant’s Musical Development (Schwartz, 2008)

0-3 months

  • Infants can already discriminate between frequencies in the first days of life.

3-6 months

  • Infants start cooing and creating purposeful vocal sounds
  • Music begins to calm infants when they reach the stage of developing their first smile

6-9 months

  • Infants show preference for higher pitches
  • Infants begin to use simple rhythms

9-12 months

  • Infants gain the ability to match pitches about 55% of the time

12-18 months

  • Start to make vocal sounds in response to music
  • Begin to move in response to music and match movements to the music.
Baby and Me Music Therapy. Online Program. Find Your Voice Music Therapy. Kingston, Ontario. Halifax, Nova Scotia

What is Music Therapy?

In music therapy we focus on the infants or toddlers musical being, giving them an opportunity to naturally explore, create, and discover through music.

Music therapists use music intentionally and purposefully in a group or individual setting to help client’s promote, maintain, and restore physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual health.

Goals for Infants & Babies in Music Therapy

Social Skills

Music with infants is used to socialize, engage, and connect with the world around them. Music allows for great opportunity for child and parent bonding.  Group music activities are effective in promoting skills involving cooperative interaction (for example: attention span, eye contact, listening, sharing, turn-taking etc.).  Music naturally captures attention and can be used to reinforce desired behaviours. (AMTA, 2012)

Communication Skills

Music is a form of communication that does not require words (Aldridge, 2005).  Music improvisation activities with another person creates a great deal of communication through listening, sharing, and exchanging of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. Receptive communication may also be developed through musical imitation activities.

Emotional Skills

Music therapy addresses positive changes in emotional states through reduction of agitation, stress, anxiety, and depression. It also provides means of distraction and temporary relief from pain and discomfort.  Music gives infants and toddlers the opportunity to creatively express their current feelings, thoughts, and ideas through the music. With time the child will develop greater self confidence and self esteem through successful musical experiences.

Physical Skills (gross and fine motor)

Through the physical domain an infant is developing increased awareness of her environment and surroundings.  An infant can be physically engaged with the music by playing different musical instruments or through movement and dancing. This gives the opportunity to develop gross and fine motor skills which can be extremely beneficial for pre-mature babies and those with physical disabilities.

Cognitive Skills

Music is processed in both cerebral hemispheres and can therefore stimulate cognitive functioning as well as aide in speech and language production. (AMTA, 2012) Educational songs with information embedded into them are effective tools for teaching a child academic skills.

Our Process

Find Your Voice Music Therapy offers a complementary 30 minutes consultation for anyone interested in learning more about music therapy and how it can be applied in the context of choice.

Goals and objectives will be defined at the completion of 3-4 sessions. These goals
and objectives will be revised accordingly as progress is made. The music therapist will also complete progress notes after every session and submit them to the family.

Interested in learning more? Book a complementary 30 minute consultation today!