Music improves social skills

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

dancing kid
Studies show that a young child is more likely to be cooperative after you’ve danced in sync with their musical movements.

Few things calm us down quite like music, and according to new research, it can even help youngsters become more positively social!

Scientists designed an experiment to test music’s influence on the attitudes of 48 toddlers, gently bouncing the little guys and gals along to the beat of “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles. While they did so, another researcher and youngun’ danced across from them. Some of the experimenters bounced the kids in sync with the beat, while others moved slightly off-beat and out of sync.

After their mini dance party, the experimenters then pretended to ask for help after “accidentally” dropping a toy, or stretching for one that was just out of reach. Much to everyone’s surprise, the little tikes were more likely to help if their dance partners had been dancing with the music’s rhythm than if they’d been with one who was off-beat!

The researchers say the effect of the music wasn’t very strong, but it was still significant enough to reconsider the importance of music and interactions at a young age.

Featured image courtesy of Philippe Put on Flickr. Image of dancing girl courtesy of Walakazoo on Flickr.