Have you ever hear the old saying “Mozart makes babies smarter”? Can a mother simply playing Mozart while the Infant sleeps actually increase her baby’s brain function? Well there Is now evidence that this once perceived ‘old wives tale’ Is actually true. The studies done to prove this seemingly bizarre event have deemed it, The Mozart Effect. The Mozart Effect is a set of research results that indicate that listening to Mozart music may induce a short-term improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning”.

Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to visualize mental pictures of spatial patterns and mentally changing them over a time-ordered sequence of spatial transformations. This ability Is Important for generating and conceptualizing solutions to multi-step problems that arise in areas such as architecture, engineering, science, mathematics, art, games, and everyday life (“Definition of Spatial-Temporal Reasoning”).

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Major studies have been conducted on this theory, and the lead enthusiast and founder of this study was DRP. Alfred A. Tomato’s. The concept of the “Mozart effect” was described by French researcher, DRP. Tomato’s, In his 1991 book Pours Mozart? He used the music of Mozart In his efforts to “retrain” the ear, and believed that listening to the music presented at differing frequencies helped the ear, and promoted healing and the development of the brain (Tomato’s). Another enthusiast was J. S. Jenkins.

His beliefs came from a study in 1993, that was conducted by Earaches which made the surprising claim that, after listening to Mozart sonata for two pianos (KICK) for 10 minutes, normal subjects showed improvement in spatial reasoning skills than after periods of listening to relaxation Instructions designed to lower blood pressure or silence. The mean spatial IQ scores were 8 and 9 points higher after listening to the music than In the other two conditions. The mentally stimulating effect did not extend beyond 10-15 minutes. These results proved controversial.

Some investigators were unable to reproduce the findings, but others confirmed that listening to Mozart sonata KICK produced a small increase in spatial-temporal performance, as measured by various tests derived from the Stanford-?Blunt scale such as paper-cutting and folding procedures or pencil-and-paper maze tasks (Jenkins, 1-2). However, Earaches has stressed that the Mozart effect is limited to spatial temporal reasoning and that there is no enhancement of general intelligence; some of the negative results, she thinks, may have been due to inappropriate test procedures (Earaches, 365).

One major study conducted by Earaches, with three to four year old pre-school children the original experiments on adults exposed to Mozart music were of short duration only. In related experiments, long-term effects of music were studied In groups of pre-school children aged 3-4 years who were given keyboard music lessons for SIX months, ruing which time they studied pitch intervals, fingering techniques, sight reading, musical notation and playing from memory. At the end of training all the children were able to perform simple melodies by Beethoven and Mozart.

When they did they were then subjected to spatial-temporal reasoning tests calibrated for age, and their performance was more than 30% better than that of children of similar age given limited to spatial-temporal reasoning; there was no effect on spatial recognition. The effect lasted unchanged for 24 hours after the end of the music lessons but the recipe duration of the enhancement was not further explored. The longer duration of the effects than in previous reports was attributed to the length of exposure to music and the greater plasticity of the young brain.

In further experiments of this kind it has been claimed that the enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning in Children after piano training has resulted in significantly greater scores in higher mathematics (Earaches “Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool Children’s spatial-temporal reasoning”). Although some are skeptical and hesitant to believe that simply music can have such a powerful impact, studies, such as the ones listed above, are unanimous in stating that an infant who listens to Mozart has increased brain function.

This increased brain function leads to a surplus of short-term and long-term benefits. One can see how this theory is affirmed by the immense amount of studies done that show the various benefits of listening to Mozart. Some of these studies even involve adolescents listening to some of Mozart sonatas. Another way is to analyze “hat it is about Mozart sonatas in particular that stimulate the brain function as opposed to other classical composers. The last way one can affirm the ‘Mozart Effect’ IS discussing how piano lessons at an early age can also improve brain function and Increase the chances of long-term benefits.

The Mozart Effect was first introduced in 1993 by the scientists at the University of California at Irvine. This study was not on infants however. The study consisted of college students listening to Mozart sonata for two pianos (KICK) for ten minutes showed significantly better spatial reasoning skills than after periods of listening to relaxation instructions designed to lower blood pressure or silence. The study resulted in a mean spatial IQ score of 8 and 9 points higher after listening to the music than in the other two conditions. The effect was only short-term; it lasted only ten to fifteen minutes.

These results proved controversial. Other researchers were unable to reproduce the findings but others confirmed the theory that listening to Mozart sonata KICK produced a small increase in spatial-temporal performance. These improvements were measured by various tests derived from the Stanford-? nineteen scale such as paper-cutting and folding procedures or pencil-and-paper maze asks. Earaches has stressed that the Mozart effect is only limited to spatial temporal reasoning and that there is no enhancement of general intelligence; some of the negative results, she thinks, could be attributed to inappropriate test procedures Jenkins).

Many have criticized these positive findings in saying that these effects are due to the ‘enjoyment arousal’ and that these same findings would not be present if the subject had no appreciation for classical music. These opinions of the effect are countered by a study done on rats by the University of Wisconsin in 1998. Rats were exposed in utter plus 60 days post-part to either complex music (Mozart Sonata k. 448)), minimalist music (a Philip Glass composition), white noise or silence, and Newer then tested for five days in a multiple T-maze.

By Day 3, the rats exposed to the Mozart work completed the maze more rapidly and with fewer errors than the rats Irish suggests that repeated exposure to complex music induces improved spatial- temporal learning in rats, resembling results found in humans. This proves that music appreciation and enjoyment has little to nothing to do with the improvement f the subjects (Earaches “Improved maze learning through early music exposure in rats”). A more impressive indication off Mozart effect is seen in epilepsy.

In 23 of 29 patients with focal discharges, or bursts of generalized spike and wave complexes, No listened to the Mozart piano sonata KICK there was a significant decrease in epileptic activity as shown by the electroencephalogram (EGG). Some individual patients showed especially striking improvement. In one male, a status epileptics No was unconscious for the study, octal patterns were present 62% of the time, Inheres during exposure to Mozart music this value fell to 21%.

In two other patients with status epileptics continuous bilateral spike and wave complexes were recorded 90-100% of the time before the music, suddenly falling to about 50% 5 minutes after the music began. The fact that improvement took place in a comatose patient demonstrates, once again, that the appreciation of the music is not a necessary attribute for the success of the Mozart effect Oneness, 7). To determine Neither this music could exert a longer effect, studies were conducted in an eight- [ear-old girl with a particularly intractable form of childhood epilepsy, the Lennox-?

Gestalt syndrome, with many drop attacks accompanied by bilateral spike and wave complexes and focal discharges from the right posterior temporal area. Mozart sonata was played every ten minutes for each hour of the day when she was awake. At the end of the waking period the number of clinical seizures had fallen from nine during the initial four hours to one during the last four hours and the number of seconds during which general discharges occurred fell from three hundred and seventeen to one hundred and seventy-eight. The following day the number of attacks was two in seven and half hours Oneness, 8).

As one can see the effects of existing to Mozart can increase brain function, which increases brain performance. So given the information listening to Mozart can cause one to be more alert and focused. But why Mozart? What is so special about Mozart sonatas as opposed to other classical composers such as Chopin, Beethoven, and Brahms? Most researchers have used Mozart double piano sonata (KICK), which the Mozart authority Alfred Einstein called “one of the most profound and most mature of all Mozart compositions”, but his piano concerto no. 3 in A major KICK also proved to be effective. Some investigators observed that no enhancement of spatial temporal sets was seen after the minimalist music of Philip Glass and there was no Improvement in epileptic EGG tracings after old-time pop music. Iridous, however, report that a contemporary composition by the Greek-American musician Vain, was also successful. This is suggested to be so because his works are similar to Mozart in tempo, harmony, melody, and structure.

In an attempt to determine the hysterical characteristics, which were responsible for the Mozart effect, Hughes and Finn subjected a wide range of music to computer analysis. The purpose of this study Nas to determine distinctive aspects of Mozart music that may explain the “Mozart Effect,” specifically, the decrease in seizure activity. As many as eighty-one musical selections of Mozart, but also sixty-seven of J. C. Bach, thirty-nine of Chopin and one quantify the music in search of any distinguishing piece and later to ascertain the degree to which a prevailing periodicity could be found.

Long-term periodicity illegally 10-60 sec, mean and median of 30 sec), was found often in Mozart music but also that of the two Bach’s, considerably more often than the other composers and was especially nonexistent in the control music that had no effect on epileptic activity in preceding studies. Short-term periodicities were not radically different between Mozart and the Bach’s vs.. The other composers. The conclusion is that one distinguishing aspect of Mozart music is long-term periodicity that may well resonate Nothing the cerebral cortex and may also be related to coding within the brain Shushes).

Another resemblance between the music of Mozart and the two Bach’s was the accent on the average power of particular notes, notably 63 (196 Hazy), CA (523 Hazy) and 85 (987 Hazy). In contrast, Philip Glass’ modest music and the old-time pop music, Inch had both proved without effect on spatial behavioral tasks or on epilepsy, wowed little long-term periodicity. It is suggested that music with a high degree of long-term periodicity, whether of Mozart or other composers, would resonate within the brain to reduce seizure activity and improve spatial-temporal performance Jenkins 10).

The third and final point is based on the study that was conducted with the pre-school aged children. Though previous studies were performed with adults, this is the first notated test with children, and also the first test that was carried out for a long period of time. The test was over a six-month trial period during which dents studied pitch intervals, fingering techniques, sight-reading, musical notation and playing from memory. At the end of training all children were able to perform simple melodies by Beethoven and Mozart Oneness, 5).

When the test for spatial temporal activity was conducted it showed that these students had 30% more activity n their brain as opposed to a student, same age, who had computer or no special training that they were involved in. This test was conducted only for spatial reasoning and not recognition in which these students excelled from the other average students with no musical teachings. The improvements lasted for a full 24 hours, but it was not further monitored. The researches go on to say that students that are Involved in playing piano have significantly higher scores in advanced mathematics Jenkins, 5).

It is safe to assume that any piano teacher and student would agree with these statements. Music is an art that not only interacts with ones feelings and the Nay one plays an instrument, but it involves a lot of brain functions, especially for pianists. Pianists develop a high-level of energies from their brain to their arms, because of the rigorous activity that involves reading the music and not looking at Our hands while they play. That is Just one of the many aspects that shows brain function for pianists.

But to carry out the thesis, from a pianist’s perspective, due to practice habits and the complexity of music, pianists are to comprehend more in the general education classes at college. The art of piano has teaches one patience and discipline. It is shown that math comes to music students a lot easier than other students who do not have a similar musical background. As for students that are punier and other students that are not musically talented or musically oriented, hey are highly intelligent. Though none have been under a spatial-temporal test, there is without a doubt, evidence that piano helps with higher education.

A recent She has been a piano student all her life. Though not all piano students are going to excel in the same area, studies and personal accounts such as the one listed above prove that due to the study in music, there is excel in different areas outside of music due to the fine art that are studied. The Mozart Effect, fact or fiction? While there is significant evidence stating that the successful studies were Just simply a fluke and Mozart really has no effect on the human brain, there are studies that promptly recant these inconsistencies.

For example, in the first ever lab study done on college students, skeptics claim that the results could never be repeated for accuracy and that the students simply enjoyed listening to Mozart. First, many, many more studies have since been done and have also produces successful results, at least an eight to nine point increase in the spatial IIS of the subjects and better performance on an exam. As far as the claim that the subjects simply enjoyed listening to the music and ad previously acquired and appreciation for Mozart, a test was performed on an epileptic individual who was at that point in time in a comatose state.

This study also produced successful results in that the epileptic activity was significantly reduced. Here we have the claim of enjoyment and appreciation countered because improvement was noticed in a patient who was unconscious during the playing of music so, therefore, the appreciation and enjoyment is not a valid argument on the ‘Aladdin of the Mozart effect. Mozart lyrical approach and use of tone, harmony, and pitch are what set him above all other composers for these studies. Granted Bach is a close second along with Greek-American composer Yang because of their music’s similarities to Mozart sonatas.

Mozart sonatas have a calming effect and are easy on the ears, even for those not musically oriented or with little to no appreciation for classical music. One can also see that not only listening to Mozart but also playing his pieces and learning the basics of music theory increases brain activity in Children. Learning to play the piano helps with the development of hand-eye coordination because students don’t look down at their hands when they are trying to read music. Music lessons not only help with brain function but acquiring good study habits and learning patience and discipline.

Playing the piano takes many years of practicing to master and a lot of dedication. Students of music can apply this discipline in a similar way to their academic studies. Learning, although it may not seem so to some, takes time and patience. One has to work at reading the Information and successfully storing it in to one’s long-term memory as to not forget it, Just as one has to work on memorizing a piece and the different chords on the piano. There is so much debate over whether the Mozart effect is true or Just a chem. by consumers to get you to spend money on their “Mozart Effect” CDC. But “why is this a huge deal?

What does it really matter, other than the intriguing fact of how this could be possible? There are some studies out there that do prove it wrong but there are some that prove it true. What is the harm in Just playing Mozart sonata while your infant sleeps? It’s worth a shot. Granted the manufacturers charging twenty and thirty dollars for a “Mozart Effect” CD is a bit ridiculous but, one can find his sonata on tunes for only about two dollars with tax. If it doesn’t work hen what have you lost? A couple dollars maybe but one hasn’t wasted any time with It because it is played while in slumber.

Worst-case scenario is that the child gains an Whether the Mozart Effect is true or false is a matter of opinion. Studies are done to prove it right and studies are done to prove otherwise. There is however significant evidence in lab studies, in Mozart distinguishing music, and in those that have musical lessons at an early age that shows a significant improvement in normal brain function and even in epileptic children as well. There may not be enough evidence to andante the Mozart effect but there is certainly enough evidence to try it out for oneself. Bibliography Anderson, DRP.