Explain "The Mozart Effect" and its influene on brain development in young children.In a 300-500 word essay, exoplain your view of "The Mozart Effect"

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator


I think it is important that in your essay you first note what is the Mozart Effect, who researched or came up with the buzzword, where it was published, and what has been the result of its publication. That will take u easily to 350 words or more.

Here is some information to help you out:

"The Mozart Effect" was cited by Shaw, Rauscher, and Levine as a reaction that supposedly occured when students were tested on their acquisition, retention and application of spatial intelligence. In their experiment, they argue that out of the three variables in the study, relaxation music, Mozart sonatas, and I believe it was either white noise or another form of sound, the students performed better when listening to the sonata.

These results were published around 1998 in the MuSIca journal, and in publications such as the Times, and Nature. The hypotherical reasoning is that Mozart's music will make you smarter.

Personally, I have a hard time with these so-called studies. First, the variables were not all fair. They presented three scenarios in which students performed according to what they heard, yet, we are not considering the personal preference of the students nor the reasoning behind their preference for the music.

Also, the study (to me) is hardly experimental. I sense that there was a biased assumption that Mozart will indeed make your somewhat feel better and all the elements in the study were present to prove them right.

Like Pomphei said, I think this is sort of another way to promote someone's idea, and unfortunately there is always going to be a market for interestingly-named novelties.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, we cannot write essays for you on this site.  But hopefully we can help you figure out what to write.

The Mozart effect is based on the idea that listening to Mozart's music raised the IQ of young children.  The idea is, generally, that Mozart's music is so complex that it can make kids smarter just listening to it.

I am not qualified to judge the scientific merit of this theory.  However, it is clear that many entrepreneurs have jumped on this bandwagon and tried to market things (such as Baby Einstein) based on the idea that you can make your baby smarter in some easy-to-do and semi-miraculous ways.

In my opinion, these things are what used to be called "snake oil."  They are just ways to prey on parents' fears that their kids won't be smart enough.  We can see that from the recent admission that Baby Einstein stuff does not do what it claims to.

composer | Student
The "Mozart effect" refers to the idea that listening to music stimulates the brain, and can aid learning. This term was invented by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis, who originally promoted listening to Mozart's music in order to heal the brain. Listening to Mozart has been shown to deliver temporary increases in I.Q. test performance, and this has led to a number of commercial products, many of which have been aimed at parents. These products have included musical compilations which are supposed to be played to babies in order to make them more intelligent.
It has not been scientifically demonstrated that Mozart's music delivers unique benefit which other music does not. While the idea of the "Mozart effect" has probably been overhyped, there is a large body of evidence demonstrating that musical training in childhood helps with academic achievement.
It is likely that a musical education which involves active participation, such as learning to play an instrument, is more beneficial to cognitive development than listening alone. This is because of the way that the brain is challenged by combining the skills of motor co-ordination, audio and visual processing, and memory. Miendlazewska and Trost (2013) summarized the existing research on the benefits on musical practice and claimed that "children who undergo musical training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability and executive functions."
There are also other reasons that musical training could help children become better learners: the discipline required for progress in music could be transferable to other areas, by teaching learners how to persevere and overcome challenges. The chance to express oneself creatively can also be beneficial for emotional health. It is uncertain how much these factors contribute to the improvements in school performance which musical training provides.
There is also some promising research into the use of music to help patients with brain injuries or dementia.