Friday, July 19, 2019

The Mozart Effect

    Perhaps you've heard or even believe that listening to classical music can make you smarter. This is what's known today as the Mozart Effect and according to Samuel Mehr (a PhD student at Harvard), currently 80% of American adults believe music improves a child's intelligence, despite the fact that the original study from which this concept was born, has since been disproved -and better yet- that the claims published in the 1993 Nature study, never actually aligned with the public's perception in the first place. How? Well, for a start, the study was performed with college students, not babies.

    Part of the reason this myth is so resilient that people still believe in it today, was the marketing around it that took place. Subliminal messaging tapes were already popular, so the Mozart Effect became another opportunity for selling CDs and DVDs to expecting and new parents looking to up their kids' IQs. Sadly for these parents, even subsequent studies searching for evidence of this effect have not been able to achieve more than minor increases in participant ability to complete a task or solve a problem. There is no strong correlation between music and its effect on competence. 

    There is even a collection of 40 studies titled "Mozart Effect-Shmozart Effect". Which I highly recommend checking out.


Hahne, Jessica. “The Mozart Effect: Not so Noteworthy?” Yale Scientific Magazine, Yale Scientific Magazine - Http://, 18 Mar. 2012,
Anderson, Jenny. “The Idea That Mozart Makes Your Baby Smarter Is One of Parenting's Most Persistent Myths.” Quartz, Quartz, 8 Feb. 2017,


  1. I agree with what you are saying about the Mozart Effect. I think it is interesting that parents are willing to believe these claims when there is no concrete evidence to support it. With the invention of Baby Einstein parents are sucked into this phenomenon blindly. I found what you said really interesting and insightful.

  2. I do not think listening to Mozart, or other classic composers, necessarily makes you smarter, but i do think it can make you more creative. It opens your mind to different kinds of ways of listening to music. Pieces by Mozart are extremely complex, and there is a lot happening at once. You can perhaps become a better listener by trying to find different things happening at once. Saying it makes you smarter is a stretch, but I feel like it can definitely aid creativity and appreciation for complex music.