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The benefits of early shared book reading between parents and children have long been established, yet the same cannot be said for early shared music activities in the home. This study investigated the parent–child home music activities in a sample of 3031 Australian children participating in Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) study. Frequency of shared home music activities was reported by parents when children were 2–3 years and a range of social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes were measured by parent and teacher report and direct testing two years later when children were 4–5 years old. A series of regression analyses (controlling for a set of important socio-demographic variables) found frequency of shared home music activities to have a small significant partial association with measures of children's vocabulary, numeracy, attentional and emotional regulation, and prosocial skills. We then included both book reading and shared home music activities in the same models and found that frequency of shared home music activities maintained small partial associations with measures of prosocial skills, attentional regulation, and numeracy. Our findings suggest there may be a role for parent-child home music activities in supporting children's development. Authored by Kate E. Williams, Margaret S. Barrett, Graham F. Welch, Vicky Abad, Mary Broughton.


  • First to examine early shared home music activities and later outcomes.
  • Greater shared book reading at 2–3 years associated with a range of skills at 4–5 years.
  • Greater shared home music activities at 2–3 associated with a range of skills at 4–5 years.
  • Music particularly linked with prosocial skills, numeracy, and attentional regulation.

Details and full report available here.