Music supports social development in infants


An article in the Nov. 1, 2022 issue of describes research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Emory University School of Medicine that shows ways that music supports the social development and interaction of infants. 

Study lead author, Miriam Lense, Ph.D., assistant professor of Otolaryngology and co-director of the Music Cognition Lab at VUMC, asserts, “Singing to infants seems like such a simple act, but it is full of rich and meaningful social information…when caregivers sing to their infants, they are intuitively structuring their behavior to support the caregiver-infant social bond and infant social learning.”

“Although what a caregiver expresses is important, when and how they express social cues is particularly critical for infant-caregiver communication,” Lense added. “Rhythmic predictability—a universal feature of song—is an integral mechanism for structuring social interactions and supporting infant social development.”

Reyna Gordon, Ph.D., associate professor of Otolaryngology and co-director of the Music Cognition Lab at VUMC reinforces, “Making music is not only about entertainment: making music is a core aspect of early socio-emotional development….innateness for music is intertwined with early social engagement.”

For more information, read the article below!

Sensitivity to Musical Rhythm Supports Social Development in Infants

About Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen

A renowned national speaker and accomplished author, Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen is best known as the creator of Mother Goose on the Loose, an award-winning early literacy program. Her charismatic presentations always include an easily-understandable combination of research and practice. Recognized by the ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award for “revolutionizing the way librarians work with children from birth to age 3” and the 2018 Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries, Betsy’s passion is for helping children and the adults in their lives be the best they can be while sparking a love of reading.