Melissa Barnard had little doubt her baby could hear the world around her from inside the womb.
While playing a particularly vigorous piece during her pregnancy, Ms Barnard, a cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), felt a mighty reaction from her little one.
‘‘She definitely gave me a few kicks, I don’t know whether it was because she liked the rhythmic aspect of the music, but there was definitely a response there, they know what’s going on,’’ she said.
The ACO is offering expectant Illawarra mums the chance to expose their unborn children to the splendour of classical music at a concert at Wollongong Town Hall next week.
Called Mini Mozarts, the initiative was created to put into practice a belief that introducing babies to classical music in utero could encourage an appreciation for the style later in life.
It is a theory that might just be proving correct for Ms Barnard’s daughter Maia.
She gazes in fascination whenever mum and dad, double bass player Steve Larson, steal a few moments to practise at their Scarborough home.
While music can be invaluable for calming young babies, a love of music also helps kids in other areas of life, Ms Barnard said.
‘‘There’s been research done on how learning an instrument can have a positive effect on how they learn in school, the way a child absorbs information, how disciplined they are and on their concentration powers,’’ she said.
‘‘I think it’s a beneficial thing to at least have an understanding and learn a bit about music.’’
The ACO is offering free tickets to pregnant mums, with the purchase of a full price ticket, to attend Mozart, Handel & Vivaldi Concertos at Wollongong Town Hall on October 15 at 7.30pm.
Pregnant mums will also receive a complimentary ACO CD to play to their mini Mozart at home.
Visit www.aco.com.au/mini-mozart or call 1800 444 444 for more information.