The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Keep a Beat! Teachers Using Music to Promote Infant Self-Regulation and Infant-Teacher Social-Emotional Competence

Kamile Geist, Louisiana State University (United States)


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the state of Louisiana ranks 2nd in the United States for babies born to single mothers and has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation.1 As economic and emotional stressors of home life increase for families in Louisiana, the responsibility of infant nurturing and bonding with a significant caregiver often becomes the responsibility of early childhood center infant teachers.2 It is well documented that a child’s first experience with a significant caregiver (i.e. parent, grand parent, etc.) is musical. This begins in the womb with the mother’s steady heartbeat and changes in tempos that the baby feels and hears. New born infants learn to self-regulate by feeling, seeing, or hearing a steady rhythmic beat.3 Prime opportunities to promote long-lasting interactions, brain development, emotional development, decreased stress, and physical development can happen when a primary caregiver uses music-based live interactions such as rhythmic touch and infant-directed singing.4 The presenter will first describe the history of the Keep a Beat Early Childhood Research Program and then provide how the previous training and implementation for caregivers will be used with infant teachers from diverse educational settings with diverse educational backgrounds. Participants will have opportunities to learn about the research, how to use basic music techniques, and how to teach during role-playing experiences.

KeywordsMusic, Infant, Parent, Teacher, Self-Regulation, Rhythm



[1] Stats of the States—Infant Mortality. (2022, September 30).
[2] Brophy-Herb, H. E., Brincks, A., Cook, J. L., Stacks, A., Vallotton, C. D., Frosch, C., Carson, R., Wheeler, R., Perkins, H. A., & Jennings, P. A. (2022). Stress intensity and exhaustion among infant and toddler teachers: Descriptive analysis and associations with sources of stress and coping strategy use. Early Education and Development. APA PsycInfo.
[3] Bouwer, F. L., Honing, H., & Slagter, H. A. (2020). Beat-based and Memory-based Temporal Expectations in Rhythm: Similar Perceptual Effects, Different Underlying Mechanisms. Journal of CognitiveNeuroscience, 32(7), 1221–1241.
[4] Geist, K., Zoccola, P., Andary, N., Geist, E., Dogbey, G., Williams, L., & Tuttle, B. (2021). A Randomized Pilot Study of Rhythm-Based Music with Movement Strategies on Stress and Interaction Behaviors of Infant Caregivers. Music and Medicine, 13(1), 7–19.

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