Britain's brainy babies are spending hours listening to classical music, according to a new survey.

In fact, if parents have their way more toddlers will be familiar with the compositions of Mozart than the lyrics of pop stars such as Beyonce or Will Young.

Leading the poll, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) is widely considered as being one of the greatest composers of classical music and issued more than 600 pieces of music. And 44% of parents polled claim the classical artist is played regularly in a bid to educate their children.

The poll of 4000 parents, conducted by Babies R Us, revealed that a staggering 78% feel playing classical music is important for their child's development.

And although most people prefer listening to pop than anything else, a third started playing more classical music once their baby was born.

Seventeen per cent of parents prefer a touch of Beethoven to any other classical artists, whilst 10% will play their offspring Tchaikovsky above anything else.

Justine Pryce, spokeswoman for Babies R Us, said: "We ran this survey in conjunction with a new range of baby toys, the Garden Friends 'Play to Learn' toys help you identify with your baby milestones, some of these toys feature Mozart's music and aim to aid development from an early age".

"The poll certainly seems to show that parents feel it is their responsibility to curb their own music preferences, believing classical music is better for brainy babies."

Twenty-one per cent of mum and dads said they played classical music to the growing tummy before the baby was born.

Whilst 32% played pop, 12% played rock and 10% played lullabies.

Forty-three per cent of parents said their baby showed signs of recognising the music they had been playing to it during the pregnancy.

TOP 10 MOST PLAYED CLASSICAL COMPOSERS:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Johann Sebastian Bach

Frederic Chopin

Franz Schubert

Richard Wagner

George Frideric Handel

Gustav Mahler

Joseph-Maurice Ravel