Music education for preschoolers and young children often revolves around the idea of the Mozart Effect—an idea that came about in the 90’s (“Baby Mozart”, anyone?) that listening to Mozart will make your child into a super genius.
The good news: Lots of kids got exposed to some really great music.
The bad news: Listening to Mozart most likely doesn’t make anyone a genius.
The original study that suggested a link between Mozart and increased intelligence was a little exaggerated. There WAS a short-term, small increase in visual spatial processing. Short. Term. Small.
You know what is even better for visual spatial processing? Doing visual spatial stuff. 😊
In fact, there is some current musing that maybe it isn’t Mozart itself, but any music. Other researchers think that it is not any music itself but rather the mood lifting benefits of music which is particular to each person. A better mood means better thinking.
This isn't actually news to anyone who uses playlists to manage their moods. We rarely listen to Brahm’s lullabies whilst doing cardio. No “Baby Shark” if we want to get into a romantical mood with our husbands. Music that puts us in a good mood is actually releasing hormones that help our brains think. The Lord did not intend for our minds to be fretting and worrying. Our brains can’t work optimally that way.
However, there is an area where it seems the Mozart Effect might be an incredible tool, and that is in the case of epilepsy. This study shows that the neurostimulation (because Mozart is neurostimulating) may actually reduce the frequency of seizures.
That is an incredibly cool thing.