GUEST BLOGGER Yvonne Caruthers–Thoughts on Baby Einstein, etc

The question keeps getting asked: should you play music to your unborn child to increase their intelligence? How about tapes of a 2nd language?

There’s a whole industry out there that preys upon new parents–if you aren’t doing something for your child, you’re not doing enough.

I find it ironic that classical music is often a component of what’s beamed into the wombs of women who are more likely to have mashups than Mozart on their iPods. But then it hit me. There’s a group of women who can test the theory “will this make my baby smarter?” —- women musicians.

My orchestra has 36 women players in it, who have given birth to a total of 41 children. Due to the nature of their mothers’ profession, the unborn children were exposed to hours and hours of music before they were born. If we extrapolate across the population of the US, and multiply these numbers of mothers and infants by the number of musical ensembles, we get numbers into the thousands.

And I don’t mean just instrumentalists. I have a friend who sings hours a day. Is it pure coincidence that both of her sons are singers too? Before anyone wastes another dime on “make baby smarter” gear, perhaps someone should study the children born to women musicians and find out whether they are indeed “smarter” than children born to non-musician mothers.

(I’ve left male musicians out of my proposed experiment, because I’m assuming that a lot of them are like me and prefer to practice without anyone nearby. But pregnant women musicians who practice behind a closed door….are never truly alone).

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Yvonne Caruthers


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