The Mozart Effect – Debunked

The concept of the “Mozart Effect” was presented in a book in 1999 but the basis was a research paper written in 1993 (by Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, and Catherine Ky). The original study found an increase in college students’ math scores (specific to spatial reasoning) after listening to Mozart. It got picked up in the media as “Listening to … Read more

What are environmental sounds and how can they help toddlers learn to talk?

Environmental sounds are everywhere – they’re everything from a refrigerator humming to a bird chirping outside to a heart beating or a voice. For babies and toddlers, environmental sounds can be a way to introduce language or encourage language development. Research shows children need to hear 21,000 words in a day. Environmental sounds are a great way to find something new … Read more

What are the loud sounds at your school? A science project

In 2000, a group of fifth graders in Centerville, Ohio took on a research question: “Are there times or activities in our school when the noise level becomes dangerous to people‚Äôs hearing?” They discovered a number of places where sound levels were not safe and their article was published in Hearing Rehabilitation Quarterly. I love the idea behind this. It’s an activity … Read more

Why Babies & Toddlers Need A Quiet Background to Learn

Babies and toddlers listen differently to the world and too much sound can affect their ability to learn. For most adults, it doesn’t take effort to filter out sounds we don’t want to pay attention to and focusing on the ones we do (like someone speaking when there’s light/moderate background music playing). It’s something our brains have learned to do over … Read more

Rap and heavy metal music during pregnancy

Some websites say to avoid music like heavy metal or rap during pregnancy and only play gentle music (like classical) to not startle your unborn baby. I’ve seen references to “research” but I can’t find any real studies about the effects of listening to dissonant, “harsh” or atonal music during pregnancy. Based on science and research, there are a number … Read more

Do belly headphones work?

Belly headphones are a popular registry item (“headphones” designed for mom’s belly so baby can listen to music). Before you go buying buds for your bump, consider this: No research shows that playing music to a baby in the womb makes them smarter No research shows newborns can recognize music their parents played for them in the womb Many of these … Read more