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Active connection with sound - 'research and practice'

In a recent interview for the World Economic Forum, Casey Lew-Williams, co-Director of the Princeton Baby Lab, talks about how the idea of learning through social engagement and emotional bonding chimes with other research on how infants learn language. He is passionate about using the science of early learning as an important tool for tackling major social issues and reducing damaging inequalities.

The interview supports our 22 September 2018 conference focus on active connection with sound: singing to babies even before they are born and consistently after birth (

Lew-Williams first reminds us that singing and cuddling are much more effective than high-tech educational tools when it comes to development. OK, we knew this…  but he offers rejoinders to what you will hear from our conference speakers:

Learning patterns is critical from Day One

Lullabies round the world include rhythmical patterns. Better than just visual patterns, they are little stories, poems, they have colour, threads and contours. Babies receive them with all their senses together. Lullabies and baby rhymes are part of the human heritage round the world.

‘Our education begins on the first day of our lives and relies on two factors: one is the human ability to detect and remember patterns, the other is our interest in other people’

Early recognising of structure

Colwyn Trevarthen’s pioneering research on ‘early musicality’ has revealed babies’ keen perception of structure. Watching his recording of a blind baby perfectly marking the bars in Beethoven’s Moon Sonata is an aha moment for all.

Cascade of implications for later learning

‘With people by their side, they start navigating through the millions of bits of data arriving to their eyes and ears at every moment. They find structure in it, they learn, and they gradually become ever-better learners.’

‘Flash cards’ are no longer the ‘in thing’ for stimulating babies’ learning. This is great news but ‘talking to your baby’ or ‘singing to your baby’ is not such an easy thing to do for busy parents bombarded with adverts of high-tech toys claiming to do the job.

Come to our Birthlight 2018 conference to find more about 'Research & Practice'.  'Informed-Smart-Hands-on' is what we offer!

There are also a couple of money saving ticket offers now available - '3 for 2' and 'half price for students' - so now is a great time to make a booking.

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