Mozart isn’t brain music

Listening to Mozart or other classical music doesn’t make babies smarter. It’s possible music lessons raise children’s IQ but there’s no research yet to back that up.

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  1. Soapbox Diva says:

    Well, reading further into the article, it does NOT say that Mozart does not make babies smarter, but rather that there is not conclusive medical evidence to support the claim that Mozart makes babies smarter if listened to before birth. There is a difference between the two conclusions. I have always been suspicious of the Mozart claim, but all the various “studies” I have read about this subject seem to be inconclusive rather than making me a firm believer one way or the other on the subject. While I will remain suspicious, I will also try to keep an open mind to any benefits from listening to Mozart.

  2. Back in the late 50s and early 60s, my parents were not aware of “The Mozart Effect”, but they were aware of “The Jackie Gleason Effect”.

  3. Listening to Mozart (and Prokofiev, and Cole Porter) made my babies calmer, generally, and certainly kept me calmer than listening to Raffi or other crap aimed at kids. When they got old enough to listen to what they wanted, the older daughter kept listening to classical music, and the younger one listened (and listens) to music that I’ve never heard of. There is no perceptible difference in intelligence between our kids, but there is a huge difference in personality — I suspect that the music choices are reflections of those differences rather than the causes.

  4. You mean there’s no quick, easy, effortless way to make my child smarter? Say it ain’t so!

  5. What is the evolutionary survival advantage to humans in developing musical ability? The survival value of athletic ability is easy enough to conjecture about. The survival value of general intelligence is even easier. Indeed we might say our species is defined by it. We are the species with global problem solving abilities. But why do we have musical ability? I don’t know, but I’m very glad we do. If we think evolutionarily, as I think we always should, we might wonder if developing any abilities that we possess might be beneficial in developing other abilities, because, after all, we are characterized by global abilities. So whether the Mozart effect is proven or not, it seems sensible and prudent to act on it, and also very enjoyable. My only modification would be to put in equal amounts of Scott Joplin. I have no reasoning behind that, just intuition, the feeling that good ragtime organizes my brain in the same way that good classical music does.

  6. Brian-
    One common misconception surrounding evolution is that humans are evolved for recent times… you state that we are evolved for musical ability. Instead, humans are evolved with respect to conditions that existed thousands of years ago. There is a constant lag between environmental conditions and evolution.
    The neural pathways responsible for creating and appreciating music evolved as a result of some benefit(s) to our ancestors. Being able to interpret sounds (whether from other humans or other species) and attaching some emotional response to them made some individuals better able to survive in the past, causing the trait to slowly spread through the population.
    Modern day music creation and appreciation is simply a by-product of evolution and likely not a benefit in itself.


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