Mozart Effect

Baroque Classical Music




spacial so-called smart/smarter/smartest
group research give/gave/given
audio sample sound-tract
range concerto intelligence (2)
boost perform subject (3)
frenzy register good/better/best
huge identify high/higher/hightest
last (2) at most leap/leapt/leapt
effect matter (2) recapitulate
media point (4) trigger (2)
frenzy headlines impact (2)
myth enthrall give/gave/given
enact research experiment
causal struggle significance
mood suspicion stimulation
arose link (2) as it turned out
notion treat (2) permanent
brain remain short-lived
mark include even more so
drum pathway leave/left/left (2)
neuro tend to half/halves
link complex few/fewer/fewest
swift train (2) thick/thicker/thickest
plenty capable wiz/wizard
claim specimen experiment
IQ test memory background (2)
cause standard see/saw/seen
claim confirm contribute
boost back (3) willingness
ace (3) straight contribute
co (2) workout muscle (2)
solve equation make/made/made
hardly replicate differential equation
let (2) evidence make a difference
own sufficient self-confidence
occur disappear straight-forward (2)
apart right (5) treasure (2)
sonata apply (2) in its own right


Video: Baroque Classical Music



Does listening to Mozart really make you smarter?

The so-called “Mozart Effect” was identified by researchers in 1993. They gave a group of college students a ten-minute audio sample to listen to, with sound-tracts ranging from silence to a relaxation tape to a Mozart piano concerto.

The students were then asked to take a spacial-intelligence test. Those subjects who had been listening to Mozart performed better than the other groups, registering spacial-IQ scores eight or nine points higher. Not a huge leap, but certainly a jump.

That said, the intelligence boost lasted all of fifteen minutes at most — and then it disappeared.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But that surprisingly short-lived effect triggered a media frenzy: “Mozart Makes you Smart” was in all the headlines.

The impact was especially great in the United States. Babies born in Georgia and Tennessee were given a Mozart CD, while kindergarten kids in Florida were treated to an hour of Mozart music every day.

The scientific community also seemed enthralled. Researchers re-enacted the original experiment. But struggled to confirm the Mozart Effect. It was replicated in some tests, but not in others.

Meanwhile there was a suspicion that the music really improved the mood of the test subjects, giving their brains a brief stimulation.

Another question soon arose: Does it have to be Mozart?

As it turned out, music by other artists have the same effect, whether a sonata by Schubert or a song by 1990s British band Blur.

So the notion that only Mozart makes you smarter, and permanently so, was just a myth.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

But the big question remained: how does music affect the brain? Our gray matter is colored by practically everything that we do.

That includes listening to music. And even more so, playing music, whatever the music, practicing and performing leave a mark.

In drummers, the neuro-pathways linking the two halves of the brain tend to be fewer, but thicker, which is why they are so good at certain swift and complex movements.

Surely, a well-trained, fit brain is capable of more than a standard specimen.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Well, there are plenty of studies that claim that playing music makes you smarter.

Experiments show that people who had a musical background were better at certain things. They might have better language memory skills for example. Or were better able to remember things they had seen.

Children in particular performed better on the memory front and in intelligence tests, if they had at least a year of music lessons.

The problem is, even if playing a musical instrument goes along with higher IQ test scores, it doesn’t mean that one causes the other.

Einstein played the violin, and was an ace in physics. Wouldn’t he have been a science wiz even if he had never learned an instrument?

Playing music and being intelligence way well co-occur. But whether one contributes causelly to the other is highly questionable.

More than a hundred studies over the past twenty years claims that there is a causal connection without sufficient evidence to back the claim.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Like muscles, the brain can be given a workout. But training in one activity doesn’t mean you perform better in others. If two skills are very different, being good at the one is not likely to make you better at the other.

Practicing the piano all day is likely to make you a better pianist. But will it make you better at solving differential equations?


Still, practicing an instrument not only lets you play music, it can also teach you that practice does make a significant difference. That can boost your self-confidence and willingness to really apply yourself.

So to recapitulate, does music really make you smarter?

Well, there’s really no straight-forward answer.

But quite apart from any possible link to intelligence, music is a treasure and a joy in its own right, whether in the form of Mozart, Pop or Hip-Hop.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *



Pop Music. This report was a biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. True or false?

Folk Music. Was a study conducted on how to master the violin in four weeks? Describe the experiment.

Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The experiment was confined to academia and quickly forgotten. Is this right or wrong? What happened after the results had been announced?

Techno Music, House Music. Does listening to Mozart’s music actually increase people’s intelligence? Why might some people perform better on IQ tests and other tasks after listening to certain music?

Country and Western Music. According to studies, the more a person plays a musical instrument, the smarter she or he becomes. Is this correct, incorrect, both, neither or in the middle?

Jazz. If a person masters the violin or piano, can they better master physics and chemistry?

Classical Music, Symphony Music. Is there a definite conclusion? Is there a definite link between music and intelligence or accomplishments in other areas? What did the report speculate?
Punk, New Wave.
Have you heard of the “Mozart Effect”? Have your parents and teachers played classical music records or CDs? Have they said you should listen to and appreciate classical music?

Baroque Music. My friends and I can play musical instruments. My friends and I have had music lessons. Yes or no? Do you know anyone who has had music lessons?

Medieval and Renaissance Music. Are music schools and academies common? Are there many symphony orchestras, brass bands, folk musicians and concerts?

Latin Music, Spanish Music. How can people increase their intelligence? How can people become smarter?

Arabic, Turkish, Persian Music. What might happen in the future?

New Age Music. Should children be encouraged to take music lessons? Should adults take up music lessons?

Comments are closed.