“Music can name the unnameable, communicate the unknowable,” said Leonard Bernstein.
That quote that was cited at the beginning of this ABC News report about a new study showing music’s power to dramatically bring healing to babies who have a hard time eating and breathing because they were born prematurely. This therapy is now being used in neonatal intensive care units.
ABC News reports:
Studies conducted by Dr. Jeffery Perlman, chief of newborn medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian, Komansky Center for Children’s Health, find that gentle music therapy not only slows down the heart rate of preemies but also helps them feed and sleep better. This helps them gain weight and speeds their recovery.
A study published in May in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatric under the aegis of the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, found that the type of music matters. Therapeutically designed “live” music — and parent-preferred lullabies sung in person — can influence cardiac and respiratory function. They also found that the melodies improved feeding behaviors and may increase prolonged periods of quiet-alert states among premature babies.