The Happy Song: the song created by experts to make children happy

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Catherine Le Nevez
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By now several studies have shown how much music is good for children: it relaxes them, stimulates them, helps them in learning ... But no one had ever wondered until now what music could make a newborn happy.



Cow & Gate Baby Club, an English company that deals with parenting advice, instead asked a team of experts to ask this question.

And so Caspar Addyman, a developmental psychologist and Lauren Stewart, a music psychologist at Goldmiths University of London, set out in search of the song of happiness.



Read also: The 17 Most Beautiful Classical Music Lullabies For Babies

First of all, they asked 2300 parents in the UK to report which noises they like and make their little ones laugh.

The research showed that the funniest sound is that of sneezing (51%), then the sounds of animals (23%) and the laughter of other children (28%).

Then they contacted songwriter and composer Imogen Heap, winner of a Grammy Award, and the mother of an 18-month-old girl and asked her to write four short pieces with different tempos, rhythms and chords.

Read also: The Classic Music Playlist for Kids

Finally the different melodies were tested for three months at InfantLab of Goldmiths University, monitoring the reaction of 50 babies to the four tracks, including: facial expressions, heart rate and vocalizations, to understand which parts of the song created a positive mood for the little ones.

After three months of study, the perfect song emerged.

Scholars have outlined the characteristics that a song must have to make a newborn happy: it must be in a major key, have a repetitive melody but with elements of surprise, it must be energetic because the heartbeat of children is faster than that of adults, it must be sung by a woman and there must also be a child's voice.

Thus was born "The Happy Song": a melody with a nice text and many funny sounds.

The tempo is in 4/4 because it is the most popular and easy to dance and in the key E flat, the one that Scout, the daughter of Imogen Heap, liked the most. There's also input from Scout's dog, Pomeranian, and dad for some boos.





'In the past, researchers have looked at how noises and music can help suffering children. Rarely has anyone concentrated on studying music that makes them happy"explains Addyman.

"This song was designed for parents to use at home, in the car or on the go, in those moments when they want to celebrate the happiness of their little ones. The song can be used to create a fun experience and fortify the bond between child and parent" conclude Louise Morley, Brand Manager di Cow & Gate.

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  • the song of happiness
  • the happy song
  • song to make children happy
  • newborn 0-3 months
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