Monday, November 2, 2009

The Mozart Effect... Interesting Read...

Have you ever heard of the Mozart effect? Perhaps yes, and perhaps no, but it is a truly remarkable example of the beneficial effects of classical music. The term “Mozart Effect,” came out of a 1993 study conducted by researchers Frances Rauscher and Katherine Ky in which they studied the effects of listening to Mozart on the IQ scores of college students. Well, needless to say, the college students that had listed to Mozart had improved test scores. Rauscher and Ky repeated their study in 1995 on a larger number of test subjects, and the results were the same. In 1996 and 1997, another study was conducted at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. The study showed increased brain activity in subjects after listening to Mozart. The study also found that music similar to Mozart, meaning other classical music, provided the same increase in brain activity.

Scientists and researchers have continued to study this classical music phenomenon, and have found increased spatial cognition, increased test scores, improved fine motor coordination, improved vision, and higher brain function. Perhaps most interesting, and most important, however, are the important effects of classical music on our health and well being.

According to the Institute of Brain Aging at the University of California, it has been found that listening to Mozart has improved the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale scores of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

But is it only Mozart? According to Professor John Jenkins, and his study of the Mozart Effect on epileptic patients, it is Bach too. As published by the BBC, he found that “short bursts” of classical music decrease epileptic attacks. A hospital study on heart patients that was conducted also found classical music to be beneficial. The study reported that 30 minutes of listening to classical music had the same affect on their patients as the anti-anxiety drug Valium, and when you walk into a surgical room, it is usually classical music that you will hear.

Here are some other interesting facts on the benefits of classical music:

- According to a St. John’s University study, classical music aids in memory development from as young as 3 months
- It has also been found that listening to Baroque music enhances memory, specifically of spelling, poetry, and language
- According to a study conducted by the University of Washington of the effects of classical music listening on people in the workplace, it was found that those listening to classical music while editing a manuscript had a 21.3% greater accuracy rate, and those in the billing department of Mississippi Power & Lighting had a 18.6% increase in efficiency.
- In 2004 the British Transport Police started playing classical music in underground stations. After 6 months, robberies were down 33%, assaults were down 25%, and vandalism was down 37%.

The benefits of classical music are quite clear – improved health, improved work skills, lower crime; lower stress. There really is no reason not to listen to classical music.

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