Singing to infants matters: Early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building

Fabia FRANCO, Chiara SUTTORA, Maria SPINELLI, Iryna KOZAR, Mirco FASOLO
2021 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
more » ... 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.
doi:10.1017/s0305000921000167 fatcat:qc6aekqhlnewjnjsfz2c7koghe