Grammy Foundation Funds Study on Infant Response to Music

THE FROST SCHOOL’S MUSIC Therapy Program was awarded a $20,000 grant from The Grammy Foundation to study how infants first begin to move in response to music and rhythm. The results could unveil new predictors for early developmental deficits in children.

Shannon de l’Etoile, music therapy professor and newly appointed associate dean of graduate studies, is partnering with music engineering associate professor Colby Leider to explore the ability of infants ages 6 to 9 months to entrain spontaneous movement with external, rhythmic auditory cues.

While most adults can coordinate movements easily with rhythmic cues (i.e., Grammy Foundation Funds Study on Infant Response to Music stepping or clapping to an auditory beat), little information exists about the development of such skills early in life. The study, which employs advanced motion-sensing technology, will increase understanding about perceptual and motor development and may help improve therapeutic interventions for deficits in attention, speech, and extremity movement.

The award is one of 18 recently presented by The Grammy Foundation’s grant program to a variety of research projects. The grant program is generously funded by The Recording Academy and to date has awarded close to $5.8 million to more than 300 projects.