"THE MOZART EFFECT"
In a study of medical school applicants, 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were
admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Only 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted.
-Lewis Thomas, as reported in Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994.
The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without
exception, practicing musicians.
-Grant Venerable, The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989.
Students who study music scored higher on both the verbal and math portions of the SAT
than non music students.
-College Entrance Examination Board as reported in Symphony. Sept - - Oct 1996.
At risk children who participated in an arts program that included music showed significant
increases in overall self-concept.
- -N.H. Berry, Auburn University, 1992.
BENEFITS OF PLAYING THE PIANO
Every elected U.S. president since (and
including) George Washington has brought his
personal piano to the White House. Children who
study music have consistently exhibited higher
grade point averages, generation after
generation. Music therapy has been one of the
fastest growing disciplines in medicine during
the past 15 years.
Is it just a coincidence? What does this prove?
Are there other reasons? Why don't more people
recognize these connections? The truth is, most
people do. Then why don't more parents support
and encourage music study? That's a harder
question to answer.
In 1991 The Gallup Organization published a
national opinion study that measured peoples'
attitudes and behavior toward the piano, and
awareness of the benefits of playing the piano.
The study randomly interviewed subjects across
the nation who were 18 years or older.
The results of the survey were impressive.
Popularity of the Piano in American Society
When asked the question:
"If you could play any musical instrument, what
instrument would you choose to play?"
46% chose the piano
22% chose the guitar
No other instrument scored above 6% on its own.
However, a closer examination showed a trend
related to age groups.
53% of the respondents aged 55 and
over chose the piano
49% of the respondents aged 35-54
chose the piano
39% the respondents aged 18-34 chose
However, it is important to note that even the
youngest age group showed a clear preference for
the piano over all other instruments.
=AC 1996 Piano Manufacturers Association
RESEARCH FINDINGS SHOW MUSIC CAN ENHANCE KEY COMPONENT OF HUMAN
Music lessons, and even simply listening to music,can enhance spatial
reasoning performance, according to research presente
at the 102nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological
Association. The new findings were presented by psychologist Frances
Rauscher, Ph.D.and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., representing a
research team from the University of California at Irvine. Dr. Rauscher
and Dr. Shaw's studies confirm, and substantially extend their earlier
research which demonstrated an unmistakable causal link between music
and spatial intelligence. This further research will have considerable
potential to reverse the commonly-held view of music education as
essentially irrelevant to intellectual development.
The researchers note that well-developed spatial intelligence is the
ability to perceive the visual world accurately, to form mental images
of physical objects, and to recognize variations of objects. The
researchers theorize that spatial reasoning abilities are crucial for
such higher brain functions as music, complex mathematics, and chess.
As many of the problems in which scientists and engineers engage in
cannot be described in verbal form, progress in science may, in fact, be
closely linked to the development of certain spatial skills.
and Dr. Shaw's results show that the spatial reasoning performance of 19
preschool children who received eight months of music lessons, far
exceeded the spatial reasoning performance of a demographically
comparable group of 15 preschool children who did not receive music
Moreover, scores on a puzzle task, designed to measure spatial
reasoning ability, increased significantly during the course of the
period they received the music lessons. This experiment was designed to
follow up on results generated by a preliminary pilot study completed by
the researchers in 1993.
The second experiment, presented at the meeting by Dr. Rauscher and Dr.
Shaw, expanded on their widely-reported study published by Nature in
October 1993, which found that listening to 10 minutes of Mozart's Piano
Sonata K 448 increased spatial IQ scores in college students, relative
to silence or relaxation instructions. The new findings replicated the
effect, and found no increase in spatial skills after subjects listened
to 10 minutes of either a composition by Philip Glass or a highly
rhythmic dance piece, suggesting that hypnotic musical structures will
not enhance spatial skills.
Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw suggest
that these two complementary studies have serious educational and
scientific implications. "We are in the process of designing further
studies directed toward strengthening the enhancing effect of music
training on spatial reasoning that we found for the preschoolers. We
hope our research will help convince public school administrators of how
crucial music instruction is to all children," they explained. Dr.
Rauscher and Dr. Shaw also plan experiments which will begin to examine
the neuronal mechanisms responsible for the causal link between music
and spatial intelligence.
This webpage is maintained by David Barnaba
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