Music to promote early language

Katy Mitchell. With thanks to Nicole Da Rocha for her support and advice.| View as single page | Feedback/Impact

Listening in the brain

Music effects every area of the brain that scientists have mapped. Scans of the brain listening to music show that there is activity all over the brain.

This video explains how a child's experiences affect how the brain develops. Neurons send electrical signals to communicate with each other, developing circuits which are strengthened through repetition. Some connections that are used frequently become stronger, whilst others that are not used fade away.

This web-page explores how each area of the brain responds to music. Studying the brains of children who have played musical instruments over a 5 year period has shown changes in their brain structures, with stronger connections between the right and left hemispheres, resulting in better problem solving skills and improved cognition and decision making skills as explained in this video.

This Brain Matters documentary explains the importance of the first three years of life for early development. A baby's brain is ready to be 'programmed' and this programming happens through experiences. The number of times an event is repeated will impact on brain development.

This video explains how the ear and the brain work together to recognise sound and identify their location.



Brain Matters (2020) Early Childhood Development [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].

Harvard University, Center on the Developing Child (2011) Experiences Build Brain Architecture. [Online] Available at:

Oliver,D. (2018) The Science of Hearing TEDEd [Online] Available at:  [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].

Rubin,P (2019) How Does Music Affect Your Brain? Tech Effects, WIRED [Online] Available at:  [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].

The Kennedy Center. Your Brain on Music: The System Between Your Ears 

University of Central Florida. Your Brain on Music: A popular class breaks down how our brains respond to music. [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 16 April, 2021].