The music they listen to doesn’t have any lyrics that tell them to grow, but new research from Tel Aviv University finds that premature babies who are exposed to music by 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gain weight faster — and therefore become stronger — than those who don’t.
A new study carried out by Dr. Dror Mandel and Dr. Ronit Lubetzky of the Tel Aviv Medical Center affiliated with Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine has found that pre-term infants exposed to thirty minutes of Mozart’s music in one session, once per day expend less energy — and therefore need fewer calories to grow rapidly — than when they are not “listening” to the music.
“It’s not exactly clear how the music is affecting them, but it makes them calmer and less likely to be agitated,” says Dr. Mendel, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University.
In the study, Dr. Mandel and Dr. Lubetzky and their team measured the physiological effects of music by Mozart played to pre-term newborns for 30 minutes. After the music was played, the researchers measured infants’ energy expenditure again, and compared it to the amount of energy expended when the baby was at rest. After “hearing” the music, the infant expended less energy, a process that can lead to faster weight gain.