The Mozart Effect: Latest Tips for New Parents


Can the Mozart Effect help my Baby?

mozart effect

Music – in general has shown to have positive effects on babies, infants, preemies, toddlers and up. Mozart is one of many classical composers, and became popularized because of a study that used a Mozart Sonata to achieve higher cognition in college students. As a result the “Mozart Effect” phenomenon was born.

What Exactly is The Mozart Effect?

In early 1992, researchers from the University of California, Irvine discovered that college students performed much better in math testing while Mozart music was being played.

 This was a phenomenal discovery. Although these findings pertained only to college students, everyone was curious to see if playing Mozart might have a positive effect on the early baby’s brain.

Since then, studies coined the “Mozart Effect” have suggested that a baby’s brain CAN be hardwired better if the baby receives the right kind of stimulus and nurture.

“The first year is critical for healthy brain development. If synapses aren’t used, they die, and there’s no chance to revive them.,”

- Kathryn Taaffe Young, Ph.D., developmental psychologist.

“The Mozart Effect” was a term coined by the media after Dr. Gordon Shaw and Dr. Francis Rauscher conducted their now-famous study using the music of Mozart. The study was never intended for babies, and the researchers never expected the findings to be swept away by the media and turned into “Baby Mozart”.

They have yet to conclude that playing Mozart would help produce a smarter baby, but they HAVE concluded that there is a fantastic correlation between math, music, and brain function, and they have now implemented study programs currently in use in the Orange County, CA school systems using their new Math/Music model – with great success.

“Music will not only help us understand how we think, reason, and create, but will enable us to learn how to bring each child’s potential to its highest level.”
Dr. Gordon Shaw, – Co-Founder and Chairman, MIND Institute

The music of Mozart helped college students…..

But what about babies?

Will the Mozart Effect help my baby?

The connection between intelligence and exposure to music may seem like urban legend, but in fact there is a good deal of fact to support it. Exposing children to music early in their lives causes neurons in the brain to fire, thus linking them to other neurons, forming connections called synapses. The more synapses created, and the more precise the firings, the better the chance a baby has of performing well intellectually.

The music area of the brain is close to the math area, and stimulation of either area helps in the development of complex thought processes.

“Synapses can’t wait—birth to four years is the ideal time to expose children to music” – Princeton Review

The key is “Spatial-Temporal Reasoning”

Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to think in patterns and pictures, and is crucial in math, in particular, in learning proportional reasoning. The [current] school system teaches only language-based math equations, word problems and memorizations. But students need to understand the concepts behind math, and it’s spatial-temporal reasoning that helps them visualize a problem at a higher level. Einstein said that’s how he thought when he wrote down his equations.

Playing Mozart’s music to a baby in hopes that her brain will become better hardwired seems like an obvious theory – but is it the perfect match?

Studies have shown that playing most forms of classical music can create a more positive environment and therefore can be beneficial, however – if you want to specifically prepare your baby’s brain for enhanced spatial-temporal reasoning (understanding and being able to SEE the concepts behind math) – then you need to look deeper than just any classical music.

Specifically, a baby’s brain is an enormous potential, just sitting there, waiting to understand things. Science now knows that Mozart’s music is a “key” that opens the door to higher math understanding and is matched to a college-level brain. Therefore it follows that a baby’s brain – being much simpler and lacking fundamental understanding – would experience the same higher level of understanding while hearing music that is equally suited.

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