Children with cochlear implants (CIs) exhibit large individual differences in vocabulary outcomes. We hypothesized that understudied sources of variance are amount of music engagement and exposure and maternal musicality. Additionally, we explored whether objective measures of music exposure captured from the CI data logs and parent reports about music engagement provide converging and/or complementary evidence, and whether these correlate with maternal musicality. Sixteen children with CIs (Mage = 16.7 months, SD = 7.7, range = 9.6–32.9) were tested before implantation and three, six, and 12 months post-CI activation. Music exposure throughout the first year post-activation was extracted from the CI data logs. Children’s vocabulary and home music engagement and maternal musicality were assessed using parent reports. Analyses revealed relatively low home music engagement and maternal musicality. Nonetheless, positive effects emerged for music exposure on children’s early receptive and expressive vocabulary and for maternal musicality on expressive vocabulary three months post-activation. Results underline the importance of combining automatic measures and parent reports to understand children’s acoustic environment and suggest that environmental music factors may affect early vocabulary acquisition in children with CIs. The presence of these effects despite poor music exposure and skills further motivates the involvement of children with CIs and their parents in music intervention programs.

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