Riva Capellari

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Located in Brookside in the heart of Kansas City

Musical Balm

As we head into the holiday season, leaving Thanksgiving behind and surviving our first snow of the winter, my original idea for this newsletter got upended by a visit from my niece, her husband and their 8 month old little boy, Rem.

This was great aunt Riva’s first introduction to Rem (they live in Pennsylvania) who quickly learned that at the first sign of upset, sure to bring on a high pitched, loud crying jag that only babies can accomplish, dad just had to whip out his phone and play the old MacGyver theme song for immediate, soothing results. Seemingly mesmerized by this music, I learned that while in utero, he was subjected to many evenings of MacGyver reruns. Strong evidence that music can impact babies, even before they come out into the world!

My niece admits that she is not much of a talker so Rem was probably a little overwhelmed by the noise and clamor of Thanksgiving day, with 10 people laughing and talking. During their stay with me, I worked through my vocal repertoire with Rem from singing to animal noises to made up sounds to sirens. He seemed delighted and according to my niece, his vocal vocabulary increased during their week visit; a testimony that from a young age babies can benefit from all kinds of (preferably soothing!) sounds including those mom makes or plays while she is pregnant.

While research on this is not firm, there is enough evidence to suggest that mothers who sing to their babies while they are in utero, implant their own voices into the memory of the child who then responds positively to that voice after they are born. Playing music (under 50 dB is recommended) during pregnancy can also relax mom, always a good thing for baby! It doesn’t have to be Mozart and it won’t necessarily make your child smarter, but why not start them off with a life of music and encourage the beginnings of a new music lover!

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