The European University of Cyprus (EUC) has been conducting research into the benefits of music played to expectant mothers in the last trimester of pregnancy and mothers with infants up to 12 months old.
The program draws on the theory of communicative musicality and the concept that babies’ first attempts to communicate are, in fact, musical. In recent years research in the field of music education and psychology has shown that the use of music from the time of birth onwards supports brain development, the development of social and emotional skills, strengthens the relationship between infants and caregivers, and promotes wellbeing of mothers.
Women in the EUC program participated in a series of online workshops where they were informed about the importance of using music during pregnancy and infancy, and were trained to engage in musical activities to care for their babies.
Participating mothers enthusiastically embraced the program reporting that it enhanced communication and emotional connection with their newborn. A large number of mothers highlighted the value the program had for their own wellbeing. Music acted as a therapeutic medium for them and supported their transition into motherhood.
“Music changed the atmosphere in our home and taking care of our baby turned from a necessary routine into an enjoyable, special experience. Everything became easier with music: nappy changing, feeding, putting baby to bed…The most pleasant thing was [seeing] my baby enjoying these,” one mother said.
The research program is coordinated by Assistant Professor of Music Education and Pedagogy, Maria Papazachariou-Christoforou and offered by the EUCs social sciences Centre for Excellence, Research & Innovation.
Registration for the third cycle of seminars is expected to open in November. Interested mothers-to-be and new mothers with babies up to 12-months-old can receive more information and register by contacting Professor Maria Papazachariou-Christoforou via email at [email protected] or via phone at 22713118.