12 Best Classical Music For Babies And Why It Is Good For Them

The soulfulness and beauty of classical music are unparalleled. Read this post as we tell you the benefits of classical music for babies and bring you a curated list of the best classical music by renowned composers for your little ones.

Listening to classical music, be it Mozart, Beethoven, or Bach, can evoke unbridled joy and tranquility. In babies, classical music helps uplift their mood and influences their well-being. And did you know that famous nursery rhymes such as “London Bridge” and “Mary had a little lamb” were inspired by classical melodies? Read on to learn more.

In This Article

Why Is Classical Music Good For Babies?

Classical music doesn’t just sound heavenly to the ears; it also offers myriad benefits for babies. Keep reading to understand the impact of classical music on your little ones.

1. Helps in language acquisition

Exposure to music early on activates many areas of a baby’s brain (1). These areas also include language acquisition and reading skills (1). Research shows that listening to music enhances a child’s ability to process music and speech (2). Language has underlying rhythmic patterns that help listeners differentiate between different speech sounds (2). Being exposed to the patterns in music can enhance the child’s ability to identify these sounds (2). 

2. Helps the baby sleep

The soothing melody helps the child fall asleep

Image: IStock

Playing gentle classical tunes, such as lullabies, creates tranquility, building an ideal setting for (1). The soothing melody and the repetitive pattern can lower the heart rate and even out the breathing, helping the child fall asleep (1).

Adam Mac, a father and a tech enthusiast, recounts his experience of using classical music to put his baby to sleep. He says, “As a toddler, he struggled to get to sleep. To give him something to focus on and to cover the noise of my wife and I, as we crept out of the nursery, we tried playing various background sounds. Spotify has a comprehensive range of ‘sleep music’ albums available. We experimented with them all. Then we found a blend of nature sounds with classical music that covered the creaking floorboards more effectively than the others (i).”

3. Has positive effects on the health of the child

Generally, classical songs have gentle melodies. The tune is soft and can have a calming effect on babies (1). If your baby is being fussy, playing a classical song can soothe them and evoke feelings of happiness (1). Stress can lead to emotional problems as children grow up (3). When a baby is stress-free and happy, it contributes positively to their overall health. Classical music can bring down a newborn’s heart and breathing rate, while soothing their stress. Music such as a waltz or a concerto might also help promote brain development.

Mozart Effect: Can Classical Music Make Your Babies Smarter?

Georgia state in US started giving music CDs to babies.

Image: IStock

Mozart effect came into being when a 1993 study amongst college students showed improvement in spatial reasoning skills after listening to Mozart sonata for 10 minutes (4). However, the “Mozart effect” was temporary and lasted only for about 10-15 minutes (4).

The publicized findings of this study caused a big wave in the US. Many households began to play classical music to their children, and Georgia state went ahead and started giving free classical music CDs to new-born babies. However subsequent studies showed mixed findings; some could not replicate the result, while others supported the theory (4).

A study done in pre-schoolers showed enhanced efficiency in cutting and paper folding tasks by exposure to classical music, but this improvement was also seen when children listened to music and stories (5). This indicated that the children performed better not due to classical music but because they enjoyed what they were listening to (5).

So, while classical music is beneficial for the baby, there is currently no evidence that indicates an improvement in general intelligence (4).

protip_icon Did you know?
According to researchers, classical music’s complexity prepares the brain to respond more swiftly to spatial challenges. Thus, listening to classical music can aid brain development compared to other music genres (8).

12 Best Classical Music For Babies

Whether you wish to soothe the baby, entertain them, or help them sleep, there are classical music pieces in this list for every scenario.

1. Johann Sebastian Bach – Sheep May Safely Graze

This melodious symphony, with its beautiful harmonies reminiscent of a choir, has a lullaby-like quality and gives a feeling of peace and tranquility. With its beautiful harmonies, this pastoral music can soothe your little one. You can play it to lull them to sleep or calm them down.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

2.  Brahms – Wiegenlied

This poignant lullaby by Brahms is a well-known piece with its soft and soothing notes. The comforting cadence makes it a perfect song to put a cranky baby to sleep. So, the next time your little one gives you a tough time before their bedtime, just play this and see how the melody does its magic.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

3. William Tell Overture, Gioachino Rossini

The opera will get your little one moving and dancing in joy.

Image: IStock

Classical music is not just useful for putting babies to sleep, it can also cheer them up. The opera is fast paced with a catchy tune, almost like a joyful hymn, and will get your little one moving and dancing in joy.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Sonata no. 11 in A

This soulful sonata has three movements. Alla Turca is the third movement and is one of the most famous piano works of the great Mozart. The gentle rise and fall of the tune can have an effect of a lullaby. It is a perfect piece to play prior to your baby’s bedtime, and you can even try playing it on a recorder to add a different sound.

protip_icon Quick tip
Sing to the baby as the baby begins to learn the language. Rhythms and patterns of songs are appealing to babies, and after hearing a specific melody once, even young babies can recognize it (8).

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

5. Claude Debussy: Clair De Lune

Clair De Lune is French for moonlight and is a famous classic tune. This piano piece has been often used to depict romance in many films and television shows. Play it when you want to create a calm atmosphere and relax your little one.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

6. Felix Mendelssohn – Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage

It may help you calm your baby.

Image: IStock

This overture is based on two poems by Goethe Meeresstille (Calm Sea) and Glückliche Fahrt (Prosperous Voyage). The soft music of the violins and solo bird-like flute, accompanied by the gentle notes of the viola, make the opening of Calm Sea very relaxing. It may help you calm your baby. It may help you calm your baby. The second part of the piece has a faster tempo and can uplift your child’s mood.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

7. Ralph Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending

This breathtaking piece is inspired by a George Meredith poem. The fluttering and rising of the violin tune perfectly emulate the lark from the poem soaring skyward. Children enjoy bird sounds, so this gentle classical piece would bring them great joy.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

8. Air from Orchestral Suite no. 3 (Air on the G String)

This is another beautiful tune by Bach. The string melody is gentle and will be relaxing for your baby. You can even play it during bath time, making it a fun and memorable piece that can be the perfect introduction to Bach for your little one.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

9. Serenade No. 13 for Strings in G Major, K. 525

Introducing Mozart to your child would be incomplete without this iconic classical composition. Named as Eine kleine Nachtmusik, German for “A Little Night Music, this serenade is one of the most popular pieces by Mozart. The lively music is perfect to cheer up your child when they get cranky.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

10. Ave Maria

The simplicity and serenity of the piece makes it a great choice for little ones.

Image: IStock

This soul-touching composition was born when French composer Charles Gounod overlaid his melody over Bach’s Prelude No. 1 in C major from the Well-Tempered Klavier. Simple music is easier for babies to follow and this piece fits the criteria well. The simplicity and serenity of the piece makes it a great choice for little ones.

protip_icon Point to consider
A few additional options for your little one include Suites for Solo Cello and Goldberg Variations by Johann Sebastian Bach, Piano Trios by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Trios for Violin, Horn, and Piano by Johannes Brahms (9).

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

11. Mozart- 12 Variation “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman” KV. 265

This piece composed by Mozart is a variation of a French folk song, “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman.” Popular nursery rhymes such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Ba Ba Blacksheep, and the “Alphabet song” have used this music. Your baby would love this memorable and easy-to-understand melody.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

12. Victor Herbert – March Of The Toys

The lively mood of the song and the foot-tapping beats are perfect to chase away your little ones’ blues. Your baby may enjoy the unique marching beats of the composition. March along with the beats for added fun and laughter.

Listen to it here: www.youtube.com

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does classical music affect memory?

There is no sufficient evidence to prove an association between classical music and an infant’s memory. However, studies have shown that in adults, listening to classical music could enhance their memory skills, especially their learning and semantic memory (6).

2. Does classical music help children with ADHD?

Classical music is great for relaxation of the mind, hence can be helpful for children with ADHD. Reports suggest that classical music facilitates the release of dopamine (stimulates the natural brain’s reward system), which might improve attention spans and cognitive functions in children with ADHD (7).

3. How can parents incorporate classical music into their daily routines with their babies?

Incorporating classical music into your daily routines with your baby can be a great way to introduce them to the beauty and richness of music. For example, parents can play them as background music during the child’s morning or bedtime routines, such as lullabies, or engage them in musical games, dance, or fun toys with sound effects.

Listening to classical music may help put babies to sleep as it may have a calming effect on them and decrease anxiety. You could explore the works of many classical artists and play different variations of classical music for babies to find the songs they enjoy the most. The right tone and composition could help alleviate your baby’s mood. However, ensure you play the music on a stereo at an acceptable volume. Further, use these classical music sessions to connect with your baby and spend quality time with them. You may also play the music on an instrument to pique your baby’s interest as they watch you play.

Infographic: Best Classical Music For Babies

People across ages enjoy music, and babies are no exception. Classical music can be a good choice if you are planning to introduce your baby to music from an early age. In the following infographic, we list some popular classical music pieces that will be soothing and enticing to your baby’s ears.

best classical music for babies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Pointers

  • Early introduction of classical music to young kids help them learn the language and develop reasoning and spatial intelligence.
  • According to the Mozart effect, listening to classical music can make children smarter.
  • Scroll down to know about Johann Sebastian Bach – Sheep May Safely Graze, Claude Debussy: Clair De Lune, and more such classical pieces.

Experience the power of Mozart’s music! Listen to this video and increase your IQ with classical music for babies’ brain development.

Personal Experience: Source

i. The Mozart effect – Classical music can give us super powers.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How music affects your baby’s brain: Mini Parenting Master Class.
  2. Music improves baby brain responses to music and speech.
  3. How to build your baby\’s mental health: Mini Parenting Master Class.
  4. JS Jenkins; (2001); The Mozart effect.
  5. Does classical music make babies smarter?
  6. Sara Bottiroli et al., (2014); The cognitive effects of listening to background music on older adults: processing speed improves with upbeat music, while memory seems to benefit from both upbeat and downbeat music
  7. Using Classical Music to Increase Productivity in Elementary School Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  8. The role of music in brain development.
  9. Classical music for my baby: Benefits and Recommendations.
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