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Does Music Affect Fetus Development

Posted Sep 20 2011 5:15pm

A Fetal Concert: Does Music Affect Fetus Development


There has been a lot of discussion on the topic of playing music for a developing fetus
while in the womb. Products have even been made to make it easier to put on the concert
for your unborn child. The “Mozart Effect” was a popular belief that playing Mozart for
the fetus will help the child develop and in turn become smarter. The real question is,
does music really affect the development of the fetus and if so, what kind of music has
what effect?

In the Mozart Effect, certain cords and rhythms can mimic the same signals as the
brain of a developing infant. During the initial study doctors translated the brain firing
patterns and rhythms in sound rather than the normal printouts. They claimed the sounds
resembled a rhythmic music which had an Eastern sound. They hypothesized that if
the brain fires in a rhythmic pattern that perhaps a rhythmic pattern played for the fetus
should help the child develop smarter.

Studies have always been conducted to determine the link between music and the
impulses of the nervous system. Even in plants scientists have found they respond
to music.

Studies have always been conducted to determine the link between music and the
impulses of the nervous system. Even in plants scientists have found they respond
to music. With infants scientists were hopeful that they can assist in developing the
child and giving it a better start at life by utilizing classical music to increase brain
development and making it smarter. Unfortunately the studies never revealed any
concrete results. There were too many variables that would affect the outcome of the
study.

Now scientists are trying to determine whether or not music played for fetus’ can affectmusic during pregnancy
development in general and the personality they will have when they are born. One
popular question is whether exposing the fetus to constant loud music will cause it harm.
Though doctors claim the amniotic fluid would muffle the sounds, they claim the fetus
can in fact hear the music and react. They have shown evidence that the fetus’ heartbeat
can match the rhythm of music played for it.

Whether or not the type of music played for the fetus will affect its mood or behavior is
still yet to be seen. Some say that louder rock music will affect the child and cause them
to be more energetic and rowdy than a fetus that was developed listening to calmer and
soothing music.

Until the scientific community has more solid evidence, parents continue to play Mozart
to increase the intelligence of their children. However, it is still suggested to be careful
when attending loud and heavy concerts. Though the sounds are muffled some doctors
still believe the music can affect the developing child’s heart rate and stress level. They
don’t advise to stay away from concerts all together but rather sit further away from the
speakers and amps.

They also advise to be cautious when playing loud music in the car as the enclosed
area can cause the sound to affect your child. After 22 weeks the fetus’ ears including
the cochlea are completely developed and the child is able to hear. Before the ears are

developed there is a chance of the booming bass causing disturbances in the fluid that can
cause stress on the child.

The science community has always been fascinated with the effects of outer stimulation
affecting the development of unborn children. If music can prove to increase the
intelligence or personality of a child by introducing it prior to birth, what are the
possibilities? If you play a collection of music from around the world will they grow up
to be well rounded and eclectic? Will hard rock really create a more energetic child? Will
the soothing sounds of Enya keep your toddler from losing their temper? With so many
questions and no answers the studies continue.

With the popularity of playing music for fetus’ there is still no hard evidence that your
child could be the next Nobel Prize winner just by playing Mozart before birth. However,
there are also no studies that completely deny the possibility either. So as it has been in
the past, it is entirely up to the parent to decide what they feel is truth and what is fiction.

Genevieve Armstrong is a music instructor and likes using
christmassongs.org for finding new Christmas songs from different
countries. You can find a wide variety of traditional Christmas song
lyrics
for your performances or personal enjoyment.


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