I came across this flyer a couple of days ago, and it made me wonder whether the whole reason behind it is purely because people are really that gullible or whether it is to be considered as a nice experience to share with your child.
Before you get ready to rip my head off, allow me to explain whether I consider it to be an utter waste of time and money.
The Official Event description promotes it as a "totally tut-free, baby-friendly concert for parents and young babies providing mums, dads and carers with the chance to experience and share high quality live music with their infants in an informal atmosphere every month." [clicky here for the event's official website.]
This kind of live music event, to me, is purely an opportunity for the Theatre & the event's Mastermind to make an easy Euro. In all honesty, how many of us can recall life experiences before the age of 2? My earliest memories are from that age, fine - but all I recall is this seemingly huge chest of drawers where the "teacher" kept a change of clothes for whoever peed or pooped their pants. That, and a duck [or was it a goose?] that lived in the "teacher's" front garden.
So far we've got a theatre full of screaming children and frustrated parents who are by now €5 poorer.
"Ah, but classical music will turn my baby into a genius!" you're bound to be thinking.
Sorry, but that too is bullshit.
There is no scientific evidence that playing Mozart to your baby will affect his/her intelligence in any way. Nor is it proven that if you play Black Sabbath to him/her their intellect will be affected. If anything, Black Sabbath might be a better option due to the greater-than-average emphasis placed on the bass guitar - I'm told that it tends to have a soothing effect on babies [or so my Bassist acquaintances tell me].
The event claims it to be a great opportunity to expose Baby to his/her first Live Music experience... Are you honestly telling me that you don't know a single musician? If you're not a musician yourself, I'm sure you know at least 5 - 10 guitarists - regardless of how much they suck. All you'd have to do is either invite one of them over, or arrange for a visit. It'll be more pleasant as it'll be just your own screaming Baby you'd have to deal with - and it won't cost you as much financially either. Plus! You get to spend time with a friend too!
Also, is a lullaby sung by your probably off-key self not to be considered as live music? There _was_ indeed a study that proved that live music can indeed be beneficial. This study was conducted on premature babies. Clicky here for the article.
One thing that makes me wonder is the forethought the event's organisers have put into regulating the sound levels to make them suitable for younger ears. With live music, it is much more complicated to establish a safe decibel level. Yes, I'm sure that the Sound People hired by the theatre are professionals. This doesn't mean they're Baby Safety experts though.
I know all this must be somewhat confusing... I first became aware that there may be possible risks whilst in an earlier stage of my pregnancy. I had the opportunity of going to a live gig and be in an area where I wouldn't be risking getting knocked over and being bumped into, or dragged into the mosh pit. A thought crossed my mind - so I googled the possible effects of live music on foetuses, and came across this article. I figured I'd also assume the same of going to the cinema to watch a movie - basically it's OK as a treat, but not something to be done on a weekly basis.
As mentioned in the article re: live music & premature babies earlier, there are still investigations ongoing as to what decibel levels are safe and which aren't for babies. In the meanwhile, this link has a long list of articles relating to music and hearing loss. I was particularly amused by this article which states that Classical Musicians are at higher risk that Rock Musicians. I would say that if live music can be so risky in adults, then it is even of a greatest risk for young ones.
Either way - if you would like to go to a live concert, see if you can find something that is being organised open-air. Sound waves are dispersed more in an open environment, and it will be somewhat harder for the location's acoustics to cause as much harm to your baby's ears as attending the same kind of event indoors. Clicky here for more assistance on how to protect your own hearing.