STIMULATING THE EMBRYO – by Marlene Daley

MOZARTFew innovations and creative gifts have slipped between the cracks. By far, education ranks highest in the furtherance of man’s ultimate achievement and intellectual expression of creative thought.

There are schools of thought that believe that stimulating the embryo can contribute to or promote near genius education in children. The broadest frame of reference comes from doing so through music and reading, as this may promote mental expansion. Jill Binoche’s article “Make Baby Smarter in the Womb” states: “Research indicates that a variety of stimulation while babies are in the womb is the start to building and promoting cognitive development. From playing music to reading to physical interaction in utero, stimulated babies are able to begin life with an advantage, being born with what some researchers consider more confidence in themselves and the ability to learn more easily. In addition to stimulating and purposefully interacting with the baby, staying relaxed and keeping stress levels at a minimum for the mother are also necessary for promoting fetal brain development.” It is also widely accepted that preschools that facilitate supervised play allows infants to play out their thoughts or fears, this being their only avenue of expression, as opposed to adults being able to talk it through.

Research continues to unravel and validate that ongoing intrinsic contribution that music brings to learning math, language and reasoning through auditory learning. Psychological proponents argue that during the most critical and accelerated years of learning in a child’s life – birth to six years old – is the period in which children mentally create and decipher aural images. Children’s ability to distinguish frequency and melody contributes immeasurably to all areas of this development.

Classical music has long been accepted as a positive enlightened avenue through which auditory experience could enhance the development of thought process.

Like visual art which, from one to the next, depicts the whole gamut of emotions be it fear, anxiety, anger, happiness, etc. music brings emotions attached to its genesis and ultimate expression. With the possibility and depth of influence of such emotions being “carried over” and being considered part and parcel of the scope of impact on personality development, many parents opt for what is considered the safer genre by the early introduction of classical musicians such as Mozart. Mozart’s musical influence has become known as the Mozart Effect in its purported ability to promote “spatial-temporal reasoning” and its contribution to early childhood mental development. Studies have even implied that Mozart’s music “may even be a stimulus for attempting to cure a variety of disorders” and boost IQ scores.

Geringer & Apfelsradt studies (1983 & 1984) however, do not subscribe to the mere intrinsic processing of music as contributing to exemplary performance but states that being able to perform music accurately may more so be attributed to audiation or acquisition of sound coupled with technical acquaintance with singing and movement developed from early childhood years. It has been suggested that the vocal range of infants is extremely wide from birth and that pitch can be detected through cry, not to be confused, I envisage, with vocal chords developing through neglect, hunger or the delaying of other needs to promote crying, as may be the thought in certain cultures. This suggests that purposeful singing can begin as early as twelve months old. Otherwise the coinciding of vocal performance and tonal thought cannot coincide. This apparently refers to actual performance though, as opposed to just stimulation.

Marlene Daley    http://kotchmagazine.com/

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