The Surprising Benefits for Adults of Listening to Children’s Music

By Brian Vaszily, Founder of

In The 9 Intense Experiences: An Action Plan to Change Your Life Forever, the very first area of experience I provide readers is called "The Journey Back to Neverland."

As with each of the nine experience areas, I first explain how delving into the specific exercises that I ask readers do related to the experience will inevitably change them in both immediate and long-term ways. In the case of The Journey Back to Neverland exercises, they open peoples’ minds wider to their own potential, improve their mood, increase their energy levels, and reignite those feelings of awe, wonder and boundlessness that so many adults tend to lose.

One of the nine exercises I suggest within the first experience, The Journey Back to Neverland, is listening to children’s music for a certain period of time ... and not listening to certain other types of music.

So I was delighted to see a new study, led by Eduardo Alvarad at Kansas State University, related to what I teach in the audio course regarding listening to children’s music: namely, that children’s music makes people more open, accepting and empathetic.

Interestingly, the study also found that certain types of music lyrics, such as those of patriotic music, can make people more anti-social and aggressive.

Researchers Surprised

The study examined the impact on subjects of a variety of song lyrics, such as The Star Spangled Banner, Oh Holy Night, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

And though the children’s songs in the study were meant to be “neutral primes,” researchers were surprised to discover they actually elicited positive responses.

"You wouldn't think that those songs were going to put people in a certain mind frame, but they do activate a certain attitude," Alvarado said. "We found it made people more accepting and more empathetic. The reason for this we think is because we used to listen to these songs when we were little and they kind of activate childhood happiness."

Though I believe Alvarado's theory on why children’s music opens people’s minds and hearts is partially right, I’ve studied the research on other types of music extensively ... music plays a prominent role throughout The 9 Intense Experiences ... and I’d theorize another prominent reason has to do with the sound patterns of the music, which has been the case in other studies. (Alvarado studied the song lyrics specifically, but the songs he chose such as Row, Row, Row Your Boat are so widely recognized that certainly subjects were “playing” the songs in their head.)

Try It Yourself!

Whatever the case, if you’re interested I encourage you to read The 9 Intense Experiences: An Action Plan to Change Your Life Foreverbenefits of children's music and start where you ought to start ... at the beginning with the Journey Back to Neverland!

The results in your energy levels, mood, clarity and focus, creativity and more from the first experience alone will speak for itself.

Even if you don’t go that route, though, for at least a couple of days try this little experience: don’t listen to whatever music you typically do, and instead just listen to children’s music. Sounds a bit odd, but try it!

Two children's music CDs that I recommend highly for this are:

1) Best of Schoolhouse Rock

Three is a Magic Number, Figure Eight, I’m Just a Bill, Interjections and the immortal Conjuction Junction ... if you were a kid in the 70s you remember them all, and they’re all here. Not only will they bring you back to that boundlessness of childhood, but you’ll get a fun and refreshing brush-up lesson in grammar, history, math and more!

2) Le Hoogie Boogie: Louisiana French Music for Children by Michael Doucet

Fun, positive, hopeful and upbeat ... this wonderful Cajun influenced CD takes your there and doesn’t let you go. Try cranking this one in your car.