News from the Research Department

Recent research has revealed that shared musicmaking
can activate and synchronize similar neural
connections in participants, resulting in feelings of
togetherness and shared purpose, fostering positive
social interactions and increased empathy between
adults. One study revealed that preschoolers who
engaged in joint music and movement activities
showed greater group cohesion, cooperation, and
prosocial behavior compared to children who
did not engage in the same music activities. The
increased empathy and commitment observed in
the music group was theorized to emerge from the
shared intentions and collective goal of singing and
dancing together. Even in infancy, adult-child music
and movement interactions can lead to increased
coordination and connection, both rhythmically and
emotionally, between adult and child. Researchers
now propose this might support infants’ earliest
abilities to engage in positive social interactions
with others. How wonderful that the simple and
enjoyable act of making music together can lead
to changes in cooperation, prosocial behavior, and
emotional understanding for both young and old!

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