Live Music’s Charms, Soothing Premature Hearts (NY Times)

April 15, 2013

Live Music lullabies to premature infantsBeth Israel Medical Center in New York City led the research, conducted in 11 hospitals, which found that live music can be beneficial to premature babies. In the study, music therapists helped parents transform their favorite tunes into lullabies.

The researchers concluded that live music, played or sung, helped to slow infants’ heartbeats, calm their breathing, improve sucking behaviors important for feeding, aid sleep and promote states of quiet alertness. Doctors and researchers say that by reducing stress and stabilizing vital signs, music can allow infants to devote more energy to normal development.

Erik says: There are many breakthroughs in our scientific understanding of how music affects the brain and our emotional state. It is becoming more obvious that we may be genetically "programed" to be affected by music, rather than just learning how to be affected by music later in life.

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