If you ever heard the saying that babies are like sponges, soaking up all the little things around them, you might wonder if a specific type of music can have a negative effect on their development. We have heard that music aids in development, but is this true for all music, including metal?
There are no concrete reasons – or proven facts – why your baby should not listen to heavy metal; it is a matter of preference and not principle. However, exposing babies to persistent high decibels can result in noise-induced hearing loss, and parents should keep this in mind when playing music.
Sadly, society generally makes assumptions about people based on their music choices, especially those into heavier stuff like death metal. But the truth of the matter is that music (no matter the genre) has invoked a lot more positive outcomes than the other way around.
Should You Let Your Baby Listen to Heavy Metal?
Music is so much more than just a melody, sound, or noise. Music can be a way to salvation, a means of escape, a show of emotion, or simply just a moment of pleasure. Music changes in the same way that language, culture, and human beings evolved through the centuries. Some advances were accepted while others were frowned upon – it’s just human nature.
At the end of the day, it will always boil down to preference; if your baby starts crying when you play heavy metal, they might not be that into it, but if you do not notice any visible signs of discomfort, there is no reason why you should not listen to your favorite music around your baby.
A benefit of introducing your baby to heavy metal (or whatever rocks your boat) from a young age is that they can get really into it as they grow. It opens a world of new adventures for the family. Is there any better way to create a solid and lasting bond between parent and child than to share a common and enjoyable interest? Take caution, however, as it can also become a topic of contention.
The metal war between spouses
If your other half is not particularly fond of the idea of their first-born listening to the heavy stuff, take Cannibal Corpse as an example, it might be a good idea not to push your agenda and settle for a compromise instead. Suggest some classic heavy metal to start, bands like Deep Purple, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and so on. While the settlement might not be exactly what you wanted, your kid will still be able to build upon an excellent foundation.
Here are some great examples of “mellow” tracks from metal bands that your spouse might not object to :
“Nothing Else Matters” – Metallica
“Trail Of Tears” (Acoustic Version) – Testament
“Suicide Note Pt. I” – Pantera
“Vermillion Pt. 2” – Slipknot
“Lost In Hollywood” – System of a Down
To provide your spouse with a little peace of mind, have a look at some YouTube videos and community discussion websites where parents show or discuss their babies’ experiences and reactions to various genres of metal music. Some parents even use metal to calm babies. (However, be sure to read below on the harmful effect on babies of playing music too loud.)
As a word of warning, not all babies are lulled to sleep with pounding drums, insane guitars solos, and guttural vocals. If your bub enjoys soothing sounds before bed, but you still want to keep it metal, have a look at the work of Gustavo Zavala, where he transforms metal songs into nursery rhymes. The YouTube channel, Heavy for Children, has a few relaxing rhymes.
Music (Including Heavy Metal) Is Good for Child Development
According to the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, music is a rocking way to help your little one reach their full potential. A study conducted on two baby playgroups (one with music and the other without music) showed that the infant group exposed to music during playtime progressed to recognize sound patterns.
It is safe to assume that they didn’t use metal music for the study, but they didn’t discover negative associations between different music genres either. Metal has been around for more than sixty years; if there were any truth to the notion that heavy metal is conducive to developing unfavorable psychological traits, it would have been clearly established by now.
There is no conclusive way to determine if rock or metal music will have any sort of negative impact on your child’s development. An article written for Metal Hammer should provide metalheads with some relief when it comes to the healthy development of their little thrashers.
As long as you keep your kid from seeing the Houses Of The Holy cover art, her brain will be just fine. There’s exactly zero evidence that one kind of music helps cognitive development more than any other.Louder
Negative Connotation to Heavy Metal Fans
As a metalhead, you should know “the look” you get when a non-metal fan learns of your favorite genre. It is difficult to put into words, but you get that odd feeling that they are somehow a little disappointed in you. We’ve learned not to take it personally over the years, but you’ll have to teach your kids that tastes differ from one person to the next.
There is nothing wrong with Britney that likes pop music, or James, who enjoys heavy metal. You, as the parent, can shape your child’s understanding and acceptance of the world by exposing them to all it has to offer (in moderation, of course). A wider exposure allows for a broader perception of life in general.
Look out for offensive lyrics
While the lyrics to your favorite death metal band are not within your baby’s grasp at the moment, you should be mindful of them as they grow up. Lyrics might just be words to you and me, but some people may perceive your child as having “issues” while all they are doing is singing the words of their favorite metal song.
So, while your baby is growing into a toddler, censorship is not that important; however, as the little tod progresses, it might be a good idea to stick to the safer options. In other words, avoid titles such as “Swarming Vulgar Mass of Infected Virulency” by Carcass.
How Loud Is Too Loud When It Comes to Little Ears?
Keep in mind that some of the heavier stuff can get very loud; this means that while it is perfectly ok to let your baby listen to heavy metal, you should not blast the music at full volume while they are in the car or at home rocking it out with you. And if you are still be wondering – or hoping – this means that babies and small children should not be attending loud concerts at all.
Sustained exposure to sounds greater than 85 decibels are known to damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear. This is equivalent to the noise made by a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer. Loud noises can also be very frightening for infants.The Global and Mail
Expanding their knowledge of music should never be more important than their health and physical development. To learn more about the dangers of exposing small children to loud noises, follow the advice from Johns Hopkins.
Parents can rest assured that listening to heavy metal music while the baby is around will not result in some uncontrollable rage-induced toddler who seeks total destruction on humankind, nor will their development be affected in any way. Just remember to protect their little ears from exposure to deafening sounds and offensive lyrics.