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4 Live Music Therapy in Preterm Infants;

Prematurely born babies in neonatal intensive care units are mostly isolated in an incubator and lack much-needed special, intensive care for their further development.

But worldwide parents sing to their children, using musicality to comfort them and to establish contact. This common trait is our point of departure to facilitate the healing connection between music and health.

Working closely with health care professionals, ArtEZ School of Music Enschede facilitates occasions for parents to sing to their children to establish contact, to provide comfort and stability to enable a healthy development. Research has shown that music therapy can stimulate physical growth, respiratory function, and sucking frequency for food intake, helping in these crucial early phases in life. We are investigating the effect of live music therapy to reduce the stress of prematurely born babies. Specifically, we look at the dynamics of the blood flow, the infant’s and parent’s stress levels, the interaction between parent and child, and short-term neurological outcome.

The infants get three weeks of live music therapy, three times a week, for 30 minutes. We aim to collect data to evaluate the effects of live music therapy on infants and their parents and as a basis for a future more extensive study. This research is at the root of new propositions for future projects and proposals working towards a softer future for both parent and infant.

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