Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Caylie. Caylie Wonders, “Why Do Babies Like Music?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Caylie!

Do you love to listen to your favorite tunes while you’re riding in the car? Maybe you stream music from a smartphone or tablet to escape into another world of musical bliss. Many music lovers report being fond of music for as long as they can remember. In fact, some people can’t remember a time when they didn’t love music. Is it possible to love music from the very moment you’re born? Maybe!

Anyone who spends much time around kids knows they love music. Even babies respond positively to music. That’s especially true for lullabies when little ones are fussy and want to go to sleep. As they get older, children quickly pick up nursery rhymes as well. This often happens when they have their first experiences with stories and reading.

How does this love of music come about? Scientists aren’t quite sure. They do know that babies’ hearing is developed several months before they are born. In the womb, babies might be able to hear things on the outside. That means they could be listening to music or even their mothers’ singing.

Scientists don’t fully understand why babies react the way they do to music. However, some research has shed light on the effect of music on babies’ behavior. One study found that babies in intensive care units gained weight faster if they listened to just a half-hour of music each day. This helped them leave the hospital and go home sooner.

Another recent study suggests that babies prefer music to speech. They even seem pre-programmed to move to the beat of music. So if you’ve ever felt like you were born to dance, maybe you were! Researchers think music and dance may be important forms of social communication.

Exposing babies to music at an early age—and even before birth—may help them learn new skills faster. Studies show that listening to music early in life can improve creativity and memory. It may also have a positive effect on spatial intelligence and math skills. Many experts also report that music can help a child build language skills. It helps them understand the differences between sounds and recognize rhythm. It can also improve emotional intelligence.

Listening can also make you happier. Just like a good book, an inspiring song can lift your spirits and bring happiness on an otherwise gloomy day. Human beings seem to be hard-wired to appreciate and enjoy music and dance. So sing your song and dance your dance because—for whatever reason—you were born to do it!

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.4

Wonder What's Next?

Today’s Wonder of the Day starts at “1” and goes to “2” and then to “3” and then to…