The Mozart Effect: Listening to Classical Music

The Mozart Effect: Does Listening to Classical Music Make You or Your Baby Smarter?

If you want to improve your intelligence, you should listen to Mozart; you should even listen to unborn babies. So intelligence can increase!


Real What?
There are no academic studies showing that listening to classical music increases intelligence.

Origin of the Allegation

The claim arose from an ear, nose and throat doctor’s baseless notion that listening to classical music (for example, Mozart) might be helpful when seeking solutions to hearing problems. In an experiment they conducted to support this idea, they claimed that listening to classical music increased the IQ score by 8 points. This experiment is not valid and repeated experiments did not yield these results.


Don’t you feel more cultured when you open a classical music channel and listen to an opera or a symphony of a great composer like Mozart? Baby Einstein, which produces DVDs, videos and other products related to classical music, poetry and other arts, has a million-dollar market share. Parents buy these products, too, because they believe that getting involved with their favorite works of art (like Baby Mozart DVDs and CDs) can be good for their child’s cognitive development. Even classical music CDs are designed to be played for developing fetuses. This view, which suggests that classical music increases your brain power, has become so popular that it has been called the “Mozart Effect”. So how did this myth begin?

In the 1950s, an otolaryngologist named Albert Tomatis started this trend, saying that the use of Mozart’s music to help people with hearing and speech impairments was successful. In the 1990s, a study of 36 students at the University of California at Irvine had students listen to a Mozart sonata for 10 minutes before taking an IQ test. Conducting the study, Dr. According to Gordon Shaw, there was an 8-point increase in students’ IQ scores. Thus, the “Mozart Effect” was born.

A musician named Dan Campbell has copyrighted the phrase and produced a number of books and CDs based on the concept, while some states, such as Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee, have earmarked classical music for babies and other toddlers. Campbell and others have even defended the claim that listening to Mozart can even improve your health.

In contrast, the original study at the University of California at Irvine was controversial in the scientific arena. A researcher involved in the study, Dr. Frances Rauscher stated that they actually do not claim that this will make anyone smarter; even Rauscher said it would be better for states to spend the money on musical programs. Indeed, there is evidence that learning to play an instrument improves concentration, self-confidence and coordination.

Of course, Mozart certainly won’t hurt you, and you might even like it if you give it a chance, but it won’t make you any smarter.


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