Composing Music for Babies and Toddlers


  • Tara Maja Simonič University of Ljubljana



Music plays an important role in the social and emotional development of babies [1]. However, there is a lack of research exploring the process of composing music for babies and toddlers. Previous research was focused either on general process of composing music [2] or it was aimed at a different target group, such as young musicians learning to play an instrument [3]. Literature dedicated to researching the process of composing is focused on its different aspects such as: creative process of composing, composer, and the musical work itself [2], [3].

Therefore, the aim of this research is to develop practical guidelines for future composers creating music for babies and toddlers, by exploring their creative process of composing for this age group, and their understanding of musical characteristics that are in line with music perception, music cognition, and music preferences in babies and toddlers.


The research employed a qualitative method to gather data, conducting one-on-one interviews with five composers who have created music for babies and toddlers. Given the limited research in this area, grounded theory was selected as the general research methodology. By using a qualitative approach, we aim to explore composers’ phenomenological experience of quality music for this age group. The semi-structured interviews consisted of pre-given questions divided into three sections: composers' artistic process, their process of learning about developmental characteristics of this age group and their understanding of music suitable for babies and toddlers. The interviewing process was documented through recordings, which were transcribed for further analysis. During the interview composers were asked pregiven questions, as well as being asked additional ones to gain a better understanding of their creative process. Some of the composers, whose compositions had already been performed were questioned regarding their experience with the execution of their works.

Future Research

The received answers from the three sections will be analyzed to identify patterns in their composing and knowledge-acquiring processes, as well as their understanding of musical characteristics that are suitable for babies and toddlers according to their music perception and cognition. Based on these findings, we hope to create guidelines that will be beneficial to future composers of this kind of music.


[1] S. E Trehub, “Infant Musicality,” in The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, 2nd ed.,   S. Hallam, I. Cross and M. H. Thaut, Eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 387-397.

[2] S. Bennett, “The Process of Musical Creation: Interviews with Eight Composers,” Journal of Research in Music Education, vol. 24, no. 1, Apr., pp. 3–13, 1976.

[3] B. Andrews, “Secrets of the Piped Piper: Strategies for Composing Music for Young Musicians,” Research Perspectives in Music Education, vol. 13, no. 1, May, pp. 6-14, 2009.