Singing to infants matters: Early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building
Journal of Child Language
This research revealed that the frequency of reported parent-infant singing interactions predicted 6-month-old infants' performance in laboratory music experiments and mediated their language development in the second year. At 6 months, infants (n = 36) were tested using a preferential listening procedure assessing their sustained attention to instrumental and sung versions of the same novel tunes whilst the parents completed an ad-hoc questionnaire assessing home musical interactions with
... eractions with their infants. Language development was assessed with a follow-up when the infants were 14-month-old (n = 26). The main results showed that 6-month-olds preferred listening to sung rather than instrumental melodies, and that self-reported high levels of parental singing with their infants [i] were associated with less pronounced preference for the sung over the instrumental version of the tunes at 6 months, and [ii] predicted significant advantages on the language outcomes in the second year. The results are interpreted in relation to conceptions of developmental plasticity.