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Journal Article

Active music making facilitates prosocial behaviour in 18-month-old children

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Buren, V., Degé, F., & Schwarzer, G. (2019). Active music making facilitates prosocial behaviour in 18-month-old children. Musicae Scientiae. doi:10.1177/1029864919892308.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-0B62-E
Whenever we celebrate in a group, music and dance are usually part of it. Music making is a highly social activity and even listening to recorded music in a group still gives us a sense of feeling as a unit. Recently, studies have shown that joint music making promotes prosocial feelings and behaviour in children and preschoolers. Active music making led to more prosocial behaviour than a similar non-musical activity. Until now, however, the impact of joint active music making on prosociality has not been studied in infants. Only the effect of passive bouncing to the beat has been studied so far. Therefore, in the current study we investigated whether the joint activity of music making in a natural multimodal way can evoke prosocial behaviour in infants. In our study, 50 18-month-olds were randomly assigned to one of three groups: active music, passive music or non-musical activity (joint book reading). Afterwards, we measured helping behaviour towards the experimenter. We found that joint music making led to more helping behaviour than listening to music or joint book reading, indicating that the prosocial effect of joint music making arises even in 18-month-olds.