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Classical Notes: August 3, 2009 Archive

Mozart can make you smarter, but only if you're not a musician

Posted at 11:35 AM on August 3, 2009 by Alison Young (2 Comments)
Filed under: Fun finds, In the media

Eating my lunch in Saint Paul's Mears Park the other day, I was accompanied by a bubbling brook and a Mozart concerto from the loud-speakers. It certainly made me feel relaxed and focused, but not a whole lot sharper.

This is because the whole "Mozart Effect" - that listening to Mozart would make children progress quicker, students study harder and everyone just a notch above-average - has been proven to be bunk.

But a new study out by researchers in London says "stop the music!" There is indeed a Mozart effect, just not quite what was once expected. Only non-musicians experience better cognitive skills (at mental rotation tasks) after listening to Mozart. Musicians notice no change because they're already more proficient in those tasks than those who don't make music.

So maybe you should take up those singing lessons afterall!


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