What Listening to Classical Music Does
to Your Brain

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August 15, 2016
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]









Have you heard of the Mozart Effect? It’s the theory that if kids
and babies listen to Mozart they become smarter. There are
certainly plenty of CDs and books you can buy to help you
achieve this effect. But is there actually any truth in the idea?
Mozart was definitely a genius so could listening to enough of
his music make us geniuses too? What about other classical
music – what effect does it have on your brain? Does listening
to Beethoven really boost your brain power? Can Mozart make
you smarter? Or does Chopin make you sleepy?

The Birth of the Mozart Effect

The main reason classical music like Mozart is associated with
smartness is one study that effectively “discovered” what is
now known as the Mozart Effect.

In 1993 researchers from the University of California, Irvine
created an experiment where volunteers were asked to
complete tricky origami-type tasks. Different groups of
volunteers listened to different music and researchers found
that those listening to Mozart did best in the tasks, and had
higher  IQs for the duration of the experiment.

The Mozart Effect phenomenon was born. Classical music was
seen as the key to raising intelligence and even unlocking
untapped areas of the brain.

Further studies tried to replicate the results in the Mozart
experiment, and started to discover brain effects of their own.

More Classical Music Studies Reveal Interesting Brain Effects

In 2016 researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle
found that music training for young children can help develop a
range of perceptual skills, that helps them to learn to speak and
communicate.

The scientists looked at the effect that listening to music and
interacting with music had on nine-month-old babies. The
children listened to different types of music and played with  
musical toys. After four weeks of study the babies that listened
to music displayed greater neural activity in the areas of the
brain that are associated with pattern processing.

Music Can Boost Mental Health




























Listening to music – not just classical but all types – makes you
feel better. We know that when we find a track that we love,
but it seems science backs it up. A 2015 study from the
University of Montreal in Canada found that babies were calmer
for longer periods of time when they were listening to music
than when they were spoken to.

Listening to music can increase the amount of dopamine
produced by the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical that helps
alleviate depression.

A 2011 study from McGill University in Canada looked at 72
trials that involved more than 7,000 patients and measured the
effects of playing music after surgery.

Those who listened to music reported less pain and anxiety
than those who did not listen to music.

And a 2013 study by the University of Milan Bicocca, Italy and
the  Great Ormond Street Hospital in London discovered that
listening to music helps to reduce pain and anxiety for children
in hospital.

Music may help calm stress by lowering the production of
cortisol in the body. Or it may help because it affects heart rate
and blood pressure, which has an effect on the brain.

Classical Music Improves Your Memory

Could listening to Mozart help aid memory recall?

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh in the UK in 2013
looked at 60 adults who were learning a language.

When asked to “sing” phrases the adults had higher recall of
unfamiliar words. A 2014 study from  the  University of
Helsinki, Finland also looked at music and memory and found
that music may help to improve memory recall in people with
cognitive disorders like
Alzheimer’s disease.

In the study 89 people with dementia and their caregivers
listened to music, sang, or had their usual level of care without
music. People in both the singing and the music listening
groups had better mood and better episodic memory than
those who did not have access to music.

And interestingly, research is showing that music can help
people recover from brain injury like stroke. A 2008 study from
the University of Helsinki in Finland discovered that stroke
patients who heard music for two hours a day had better  
memory and attention – and they also felt better emotionally.

But Mozart Isn’t a Miracle Worker …

But when it comes to increasing intelligence, does listening to
classical music really make a difference?

Going back to the original Mozart Effect study, it seems that
results were not quite as striking as the press reported.

The authors from the  University of California never used the
term Mozart Effect and they didn’t claim that listening to Mozart
could increase intelligence long-term.

The study wasn’t even conducted on children but on
psychology students in adult education. Only 36 students were
involved and while the students that listened to Mozart did do
better at the shape-creating tasks, the effect only lasted 15
minutes.

Mozart Effects Are Short-lived

Further research in 1999 from the Appalachian State University
also revealed that listening to music does increase the ability to
manipulate shapes and leads to an improvement in mental
processes, but the benefits are short-lived and there is no
quick-trace route to lasting intelligence.

Mozart is not likely to increase your brain power over the long
term, but that doesn’t mean that listening to classical music
does nothing for your brain.

As described above, music can have a powerful effect on the
mood and on the brain, which can lead to lower stress, less
pain, and lower levels of anxiety.

Perhaps Enjoyment Is the Key?

But it may be that Mozart is not the only music to help your
brain – in 2010 researchers at the Ohio State University looked
at a number of studies into the positive effect of music and
found other kinds of music worked just as well as classical and
Mozart.

One study in the analysis found that Schubert was most
effective. Another found that pop music was great for
increasing mood. But only if the participants enjoyed that
particular style of music.

The exact notes you hear may not be the key, but rather the
style of music and whether you like it.

A  2006 study from the University of Toronto and the
University of London looked at 8,000 children who listened to
either Mozart’s String Quintet in D Major or three pop songs -
Blur’s “Country House,” “Return of the Mack,” by Mark
Morrison and “Stepping Stone” by PJ and Duncan.

Music improved the ability to predict and recognize shapes, but
listening to pop music made a greater impact than Mozart.

Whatever music you like, listening to it is bound to have a
powerful effect on your mood and levels of stress. But you may
need to do a little more in order to increase your intelligence.

Learning to play an instrument, for example, is linked to
boosting brain power according to a study from
Western University in London, Ontario – a year of piano lessons
can increase IQ by as much as three points, researchers say. So
listening to classical music will do you no harm and could
improve your mood, but a short sonata is not the fast track to
enhanced brain power.












































Related:
Alzheimer's Disease -An Ideal Prevention Diet

Dancing Reduces Dementia Risk By 76%

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Improve Your Memory- Simple Steps

Foods That Shrink Your Waist /

Foods That Fight Depression

How to Raise Your IQ Naturally
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Classical music can improve your
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