DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – “Hello little one.” Kristin Abbott is a one-woman band bringing her concerts to the tiniest of audiences.
At the neo natal-intensive care unit, a love for music seems to comes naturally. “I have had some that likes hymns, I had one that responded pretty well to the blues and loved Elvis.”
The songs are more than just soothing, there is real research behind the rhythms.
Abbot is a board certified music therapist and has been working with preemies at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton since April.
“My cart that I push around the hospital has been dubbed the cart of awesomeness,” says Abbott.
The personalized concerts do more than just calm, research shows music therapy can actually improve a baby’s breathing, feeding and in some cases reduce the number of days they spend in the NICU.
“The cognitive stimulation, people talk sing, does wonders for the child’s brain development.”
To leave the NICU preemies need to gain weight, and develop the “suck, swallow, breathe” feeding technique.
“While they’re feeding on the bottle, I will play something that’s pleasant, I’ll match the pacing with the music.”
She also encourages parents to sing along as she plays her guitar so that they can give their babies a little extra T-L-C.