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  • Writer's pictureClara Sohyun Park

The Mozart Effect: Classical Music Can Make You Smarter?

Updated: Sep 4, 2023



🎵"The Mozart Effect", a term coined after a groundbreaking 1993 study published in the prestigious journal "Nature," was conducted by researchers Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky.

They set out to investigate the impact of listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D major (K. 448) on college students' cognitive abilities.


🔑 Key Findings: In this seminal study, participants who listened to Mozart's music for approximately 10 minutes exhibited a temporary increase in spatial-temporal reasoning skills. This improvement was most notable in tasks like paper folding and cutting, and it seemed to last for about 10-15 minutes after the music concluded. These findings led to the hypothesis that Mozart's music might have a short-term, positive impact on cognitive function.



🔍 Examples of Related Studies:


1️⃣ Rauscher’s Follow-up Research: Frances Rauscher conducted additional research on the Mozart Effect, discovering that exposure to music, not necessarily Mozart's, could have a similar effect on cognitive abilities.


2️⃣ Shaw and Boden's Study (1998): In 1998, Shaw and Boden conducted a study that extended the concept beyond just Mozart's compositions. They found that listening to music improved college students' performance on spatial-temporal tasks.


3️⃣ Varied Musical Effects: Some studies have explored the potential benefits of various types of music on cognitive abilities. For instance, a 2010 study published in the journal "Neurological Research" suggested that listening to music with a faster tempo can enhance cognitive performance.


🌱 Additional Examples:


1️⃣ Music and Milk Production: On Spain's Viranuevadel farm, cows under the care of farmer Hans Peter produce an impressive average of 30 to 35 liters of milk per day, exceeding the typical 28-liter average on other farms. Farmer Hans Peter's secret? Playing Mozart's concerto for flute and harp to his cows.


2️⃣ Music and Plant Growth: In 1968, an undergraduate at the University of Colorado divided plants into two rooms, subjecting them to different types of music. Those exposed to intense rock music withered, while those listening to classical music thrived.


3️⃣ Mozart and Maze-Solving Mice: Dr. Francis Rossher's 1998 study revealed that among 60-day-old mice, those exposed to Mozart's music were better at finding their way through mazes compared to mice exposed to other music or no music.


4️⃣ Steady Growth for Premature Babies: At Israel’s Tel Aviv Sauraski Medical Center, a study divided 20 premature babies into two groups, comparing their weight gain after playing Mozart for 30 minutes on one side and nothing on the other. Babies who listened to Mozart exhibited mental and physical stability, leading to faster weight gain due to reduced energy consumption.


5️⃣ Music and Grape Growth: In 2001, Carlo Signorge in Tuscany, France, installed speakers in his vineyard, playing Mozart and other classical music 24 hours a day. Initially aimed at preventing pests, he found that this practice also accelerated grape maturation. According to Carlo, the closer the vines were to the speakers, the faster they matured, with classical music proving more effective than pop or rock music.



Despite the ongoing controversy, the concept of the Mozart Effect has inspired initiatives where music, including compositions by Mozart, is incorporated into educational settings and early childhood environments, with the hope of enhancing learning experiences 📚





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