Singing to infants matters: early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building

Article


Franco, F., Suttora, C., Spinelli, M., Kozar, I. and Fasolo, M. 2022. Singing to infants matters: early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building. Journal of Child Language. 49 (3), pp. 552-577. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000921000167
TypeArticle
TitleSinging to infants matters: early singing interactions affect musical preferences and facilitate vocabulary building
AuthorsFranco, F., Suttora, C., Spinelli, M., Kozar, I. and Fasolo, M.
Abstract

This research revealed that the frequency of reported infant-parent singing interactions predicted 6-month-old infants' performance in laboratory music experiments and mediated their language development in the second year. At 6 months, infants (n=36) were tested using a preferential listening procedure assessing their sustained attention to instrumental and sung versions of the same novel tunes whilst the parents completed an ad-hoc questionnaire assessing home musical interactions with their infants. Language development was assessed with a follow-up when the infants were 14-month-old (n=26). The main results showed that 6-month-olds preferred listening to sung rather than instrumental melodies, and that self-reported high levels of parental singing with their infants[i] were associated with less pronounced preference for the sung over the instrumental version of the tunes at 6 months, and [ii] predicted significant advantages on the language outcomes in the second year. The results are interpreted in relation to conceptions of developmental plasticity.

Keywordsfamily music; song; language acquisition; infant preferences
LanguageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
JournalJournal of Child Language
ISSN0305-0009
Electronic1469-7602
Publication dates
Online28 Apr 2021
Print01 May 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Feb 2021
Accepted20 Jan 2020
Submitted13 Feb 2019
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Restricted
Copyright Statement

© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0305000921000167
Web of Science identifierWOS:000771264300001
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