I just had to complete this assignment for school. I thought it was very interesting and I wholeheartedly believe music helps maintain a pleasant atmosphere! I thought I would share it with you. Let me know what you personally think about this thought!
Case Study of how Classical Music Affects the Behavior of an Infant.
The male infant that I am doing this case study on lives at home with his Father, Mother, and older sister. This infant is currently 6 months old. He is generally a happy, well-behaved child but is still learning to self-soothe and amuse himself during playtime. If he catches sight of his mother, he will fuss until he either no longer can see her or he distracts himself with some other interest. Generally, he will play happily with his older sister for about 20-30 minutes at the longest before fussing and needing attention from his mother. Due to teething, a cold, and becoming accustomed to a great deal of holding this infant has become less adapted to self-soothing and generally fussier. I believe that classical music can affect the behavior of an infant to promote a more calm, pleasant behavior. In my case study, I found that it does indeed have a positive effect on the behavior of this infant. I chose to do a case study due to the limited number of children that I could observe due to the time limit on this research.
This infant follows a regimented schedule. He wakes up at 7:00-7:30 every morning, plays for 30 minutes, eats breakfast, returns to play for another hour or so, then naps around 10:00AM. After his nap, he eats again which is followed by another time of play with his sister. Another nap occurs around 1:00PM at the same time as his older sister. When he awakens, he plays until he is ready to eat, approximately around 3PM. After eating, he spends time with his dad, mom, and older sister. The family eats together around 5:30PM. More family time follows with play, music, and reading. Bath time takes place before bed around 7:00 PM, and lights are out at 7:30PM. In summation, this infant has the security of a schedule and a loving home. He gets a great deal of sleep which greatly assist in good behavior and the health of this infant.
I have carefully observed this infant for the past 4 days. I kept many things constant and changed only one factor: Music, or no music. The constants were as follows: roughly sticking to the same schedule, mother was not present in the room during playtime, toys were plenteous, plays with sister in the same room, quiet home. My observations are carefully laid out in the following paragraph.
Tuesday: No music
The infant woke up fussy and needed to be fed immediately. Meal time he was well behaved and ate a great deal. When placing him down for playtime in the room, he immediately began crying and didn’t self-soothe for 7-10 minutes. He was constantly fussing, crying and not pleased with playtime. After naptime, he played for 20 minutes with his sister before becoming too upset and needing mom’s attention. At bedtime, he went to sleep after a couple minutes of fussing, however, he woke several times at night needing attention.
The infant woke up and played in the floor with his sister for a good 30 minutes before breakfast. Music was started as soon as he was taken out of bed. His mood was pleasant and non-demanding. After breakfast, he returned to play for another hour and a half before needing attention. He was not fussy and self-entertained for the entire time. Naptime came and he fussed for 1 minute after being put down. He then self-soothed and fell asleep. He did well playing again once he awoke and only fussed when he was hungry or in need of a diaper change. When put to bed that night, he fussed for 3 minutes before self-soothing and falling asleep.
Thursday: No music
Infant woke happy and ready to play. He played for a few minutes before breakfast. At breakfast, he was fussy and impatient wanting to eat a great deal. When he was put down for playtime with his sister he immediately began to fuss. Five minutes after mom leaving the room, he begins to play and to stop fussing. Four minutes later he begins angry burst of cries, basically angry jabbering. He continues to play while inserting an angry cry every few minutes. Around 20 minutes after placing him down to play, his mother picked him up due to his lack of self-soothing. The infant was then put down for a nap, which he cried for 3 minutes before self-soothing. He continues to talk to himself for another 10 minutes before falling asleep. Before bedtime, the infant was fed, sung to, and held for about 5 minutes. He was then laid in the crib where he cried and fussed for 5 minutes before self-soothing. Another 5 minutes passed and he was sleeping.
Infant woke happy and content. He played for around 20 minutes before breakfast. He ate happily and wasn’t impatient when eating. When placed in room for playtime with his sister he fussed for a minute before entertaining himself with his toys. He played with no fussing or crying from 10:40-11:41 AM. At that time, he was ready to eat and Nap. Naptime was a success with no fussing or crying when placed in the crib. He awoke happy and continued to have a contented attitude for the rest of the day. Bedtime came and he fussed for about 2 minutes before self-soothing.
Overall, I felt that the classical music influenced the infant’s behavior in a calming, pleasant manner. He was more content to play with his sister and didn’t fuss near as much when music was played during the day. The music took away the tension and need for attention, and produced a calm atmosphere for the infant to feel secure and happy in. Classical music with its rhythm and melody raises the level of serotonin produced in our brain. Because it is a neurotransmitter, which produces and maintains joyous feelings, serotonin reduces tension! I believe in the science of it all, and my home reflects that. On most days, one can find music playing throughout our home, promoting pleasant moods and behavior!