With music around us at all times, is it time we used it to our benefit? Here we discover the benefits to using the Mozart Effect.
From cleaning to exercising, music is a very useful tool that I use to manage everyday life. Students from around the world have proclaimed their need to listen to music while studying in hope of boosting their concentration.
Many additional students further suggested that without music, studying and other schoolwork could potentially decline in effort, as distractions are more prominent in quiet atmospheres.
However, some individuals find music to be incredibly distracting, preferring a silent environment to function best during studies and work activities, rather than music involvement.
Through these two opinions, can music improve or hinder study efforts? Various researchers and developments have found interesting answers.
The correlation between music and intelligence developed in the early 1990s. The theory of listening to music, particularly classical music positively impacting brain development in babies and young adults has been defined as the Mozart Effect.
Formulated by Dr. Gordon Shaw and Xiodan Leng, the researchers found surprising levels of positive effects on the brain capacity for spatial reasoning. From a developed model of the brain, musical notes represented brain activity that resembled that of classical music notes during the investigation.
In 1993, the researchers further formed an experiment surrounding classical music on college students.
The experiment concluded that the group of college student participants increased their IQ levels by nine points while listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.
This conclusion managed to surface through various media outlets, as the deemed factual correlation of classical music and brain developments helped make kids smarter, was a mainstream phenomenon.
Kid products began heavily involving classical music for children. Headphones placed upon pregnant women’s bellies of a classical music nature became the new best advice.
However, the Mozart Effect later found its research to be misleading. According to StudyInternational.com, the previous college student investigation only tested participants on spatial intelligence through tasks such as folding paper and maze solving. This is only one type of intelligence.
A decade after the popularity of the Mozart Effect, researchers gathered various results relating to the phenomenon. They concluded that there was very little evidence to conclude the theory to be impactful and found zero evidence that IQ levels increase due to the listening of classical music. Therefore, music listening has not been proven to make people smarter.
However, listening to music improves an individual’s mood. As music can make a person happier, music releases pleasurable emotions and increases dopamine levels that could serve useful to study motivation and concentration.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that promotes various feelings, excitement, and happiness. Additionally, the relaxation of music also has been shown to help students lower their cortisol levels. This pertains to stress and anxiety levels decreasing which leads them to study more efficiently.
These notions can further result in better sleep. As many individuals understand, sleep is crucial for memory and brain functioning. Better sleep results in the retaining of information more efficiently for a test or exam.
However, several studies have shown that students who listen to music while completing tasks such as reading and writing tend to be less efficient with the absorption of information compared to those who don’t listen to music when studying.
Music such as heavy metal has been proven to make negative impacts on reading comprehension and concentration.
This notion makes the music listeners less motivated to finish tasks. Regarding memorisation, students who use music to help them memorise often find it hard to remember information later as tests are usually taken in silent environments. This concluded that students that prefer silent forms of study, have a stronger memory, needed for future workforce activities.
IQ and Music
It’s safe to say that many students have their own preferred individual way of studying that works for them.
However, if music is the student’s preferred way of studying, the type of music does matter. A study conducted by the University of Phoenix concluded that listening to music with lyrics can be extremely distracting while reading, studying, and writing.
The brain struggles to process the lyrics and schoolwork at the same time which can result in the decreasing of IQ.
Although the Mozart Effect has been deemed a myth, my notes are complete. Studies have shown that classical music may not increase student’s intelligence, it can help students study better due to the lack of lyric implementation.
So, if you find listening to music to be distracting when studying, the best advice is to not begin to implement music into your study habits. If you find the musical sounds and waves while studying, the best type of music would be classical or ambient music without lyrical content.
This can not only increase your memory of the material but also reduce the stress of studying completely.
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