Monday, June 10, 2013

Music Soothes the Baby's Soul

When I saw this article the other day, I wasn't that terribly surprised. James seemed to like music well before he was born. Even now, especially in the car, he'll get upset if there isn't some kind of music playing.

Picture from the article because that baby is too cute.
The article mentions two benefits to the music that I think are worth noting.

  1. Music reminds the baby of the womb. Before he or she was born, all sounds were muted and blurry. It was like listening underwater. Music and some nature sounds (like whales) is the closest we can come to imitating those sounds. And I wonder how long this memory lasts. I know of adults that prefer to sleep in a dark room with music playing softly. It's food for thought.
  2. It is used as a bonding experience for the parent and child. The parent, seeing such a small person hooked up to all sorts of machines and monitors, is understandably nervous about touching their own child. Then they feel bad about it, because they're not touching their own child. This gives parents a chance to relieve that tension by giving them a chance to comfort their child without touch.
For the Christian parent, this can take on an added dimension. As St Augustine wrote, "He who sings prays twice." We are told in Scripture to,
And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another [in] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.- Ephesians 5:18-20


Being born so early and living to see another day, the parents already have plenty to sing about, "Sing praise to him, play music; proclaim all his wondrous deeds!" (Psalm 105:2) And the child doesn't care what you sound like, they only care to hear mom and dad's voices because those were the sounds they heard the most in the womb.

So this study shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, but it should be a reminder to everyone of the importance of music in the baby's life.

Note to reader: Sorry I haven't written much lately. My internship has really heated up and I was finishing work on a website I'm helping start. The website is called YOUCATholic.com and as the name suggests, it is using the YOUCAT to teach the faith. It should be going on line today and I encourage you to check it out.

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