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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 18:43 GMT
Mozart to soothe baby in the womb
Baby in nappy
Babies can remember music played while in the womb
A millionaire philanthropist is offering a musical boost for mothers-to-be wanting to promote their baby's development.

Peter Kindersley's organisation, the Sheepdrove Trust is backing a one-off Mozart concert, free to pregnant women and children under three.

Research suggests classical music can stimulate the brain's alpha waves, creating a feeling of calm.

The concert will be at Bristol's St George's Hall on 28 March.

Unborn babies can hear clearly at about 20 weeks of pregnancy and research suggests they will remember the music you have played up to the age of 12 months.

The Sheepdrove Trust, based in Berkshire, said a study of premature infants found they were soothed by music: "These babies were clearly distressed, and showed it in their behaviour, their facial expressions of pain and an increase in their heart rate.

They quickly regained their normal facial expression and behaviour more quickly, and their heart rate returned to normal more quickly, if music was played to them."


The spokeswoman added: "Even the unborn babe has been known to 'dance' in the womb to Mozart's rhythms."

Russian pianist Mikhail Kazakevich and violinist Susan Carpenter-Jacobs will play live music from the CD "The Healing Power of the Mozart Effect".

The BBC project, A Child of Our Time, which follows a number of children from pre-birth to adulthood, studied the effect of music on the unborn baby.

Opera music and the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction were played to opera singer Kathryn Singleton's unborn baby, Matthew.

She said: "With the opera, his heartbeat changed with the moods of the piece, then with the really fast Pulp Fiction song he just went absolutely nuts."

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13 May 03  |  Health
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Babies soothed by womb music
27 Oct 99  |  Asia-Pacific


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