In fetal development the auditory system forms extremely early and the ear is actually the first sensory organ to develop brain connections. And from those first weeks in the womb an infant’s ability to process sound and music only grows stronger.
When a baby is born he is already able to recognize familiar tunes and songs and distinguish between the voice of his parents and any other voice. Babies show a marked preference for a song sung by their own mother or father than a song sung on tape or CD. Even preemies show a preference for soothing classical music over harsher rock beats and studies done in Neonatal Intensive Care Units with premature infants show that soothing music from the Baroque period can lower the blood pressure and stress hormones of these young infants. (more…)