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Music to the Tiniest Ears

Babies in neo-natal intensive care units may be benefitting from listening to music.
2:02 | 06/18/13

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Transcript for Music to the Tiniest Ears
Finally tonight a special kind of song. Leonard bernstein once said music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. Our doctor and resident explored the remarkable difference music is making in intensive care units, keeping the tiniest patients alive. Reporter: A musician, playing for an audience of one. In a medical unit for those born too soon, tiny preemies struggle to breathe, to eat, to survive. And something as old as mankind is helping them do it. ♪ the lullaby. Here at new york presbyterian, and in hospitals across the country, the relentless beeping of monitors fades when music takes over. The effect isn't just dramatic, it's physical. For these tiny little babies, music is like medicine. These twins were three months premature. I watched that heart rate. You can really watch it go down, 165, 160, 155, 152, it's an amazing feeling. Reporter: Research done here shows that this gentle music therapy not only slows the heart, it helps babies feed and sleep better, gain weight, and other studies show the babies leave the hospital sooner. When they hear something that is very soothing, they adapt to it. Reporter: Just watching rebecca loveszy, a music therapist, sing to little jaiden, born with a heart defect. The oxygen in jaiden's blood goes up. His breathing calms. The effect lasts. The lullabies from intensive care often become the child's favorite songs. William spent 12 weeks in intensive care. He is now one. I would say "rock-a-bye baby" is the one that he still responds to the most. Reporter: A lesson for doctors. Technology can do a lot. So can tenderness. ♪ dr. Richard besser, abc news, new york. That's some medicine.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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