The Belly-Button Chord: Impacts of Prenatal Music Education on Early Mother-Child Interaction

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Interactional dimensions of prenatal, holistic music education were investigated in the actual research, especially concentrating on the connections between music and early interaction. Music was observed as a part of communication and as well as a language itself. In many studies, the features of music or the onew of early interaction are observed separately. In this research, a bridge was built between them to fill in the gap.
In this phenomenological, qualitative action study, the infant's development was explored based on ethological theory, fulfilled with a constructivist learning comprehension. A prenatally starting, profound learning process was underlined as a sum of the reason, the meotions and the body working together.
The effects of goal-oriented, interactional, holistic music education were put under observation in three groups. The first group attended musical sessions pre- and postnatally, the second group participated only postnatal musical sessions, and group three did not take any part in music sessions at all. Interactional mother-child behavior was then compared between these three groups with the support of systematic video analysis method.
The empirical part was fulfilled in natural surroundings. The data achieving methods were multiple: systematic observation forms and follow ups, essays, interviews, systematic video observations and a questionnaire. HyperResearch, Annotation and Praat -softwares were used in the analysing process, in which musical components as well as musical and emotional expressions were looked for.
Prenatal musical experiences did have postnatal musical and holistic impacts on early interaction, first emotionally, in mother-child -bonding and in activity (vocal features, mutual gaze), adn alter most clearly in the attitudes towards music, in babies' reactions and in the amoubt of musical features and in the musical ways of communication. A musical bridge can be built between mothers and babies. This knowledge should affect educationally and in psycho-social defenitions of policy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Changing Face of Music Education / CFME09
Subtitle of host publicationMusic and environment
PublisherTallinn University
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings


  • early childhood music education
  • musical communication
  • early interaction
  • fetuses
  • very early parenting
  • musical development
  • holistic development


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