Does Playing Mozart To Babies Make Them Smarter? Essay

Does Playing Mozart To Babies Make Them Smarter? Essay

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This review aims to address the debate as to whether or not playing classical music enhances the cognitive development of infants. This question is raised in response to the claim made by music educator Don Campbell (1997), who states that ‘playing Mozart to babies makes them smarter’, by aiding their intellectual and creative development. It is important to determine if there is sufficient evidence behind this statement as people are paying money for their children to experience the claimed effects. This review will draw upon, analyse and interpret a range of empirical research studies involving school-aged children to adults exposed to different forms of music (including Mozart) to measure the effects. Campbell’s claim will be critically evaluated and proved otherwise that playing Mozart to babies does not improve overall intelligence. It will be argued that the empirical studies are based on children and young adults not infants, that the effects were found to be temporary and relative to specific measure on intelligence, and that other forms of music can influence spatial reasoning.
The extent of empirical evidence available concerned with testing the Mozart effect fails to include babies as participants and is instead limited to testing children to adults. A study conducted by Jones and Estell (2007) attempted to test the neurological and arousal theories of the Mozart effect and fill the gaps of previous experiments that were typically conclusive of college-aged students. The study included 86 high school participants aged between 14 and 18 who were randomly assigned to either an experimental or control group. The experimental group were exposed to a 7.5-minute segment of Mozart’s sonata whilst sitting quietly in a classro...


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...). The Mozart effect. (pp.13 - 30). New York: Avon Books
Hui, K. (2006). Mozart effect in preschool children? Early Child Development and Care, 176, 411-419. doi: 10.1080/03004430500147540
Ivanov, K. V., & Geake, J. E. (2003). The Mozart effect and primary school children. Psychology of Music, 31, 405-412. DOI: 10.1177/03057356030314005
Jones, M. H., & Estell, D. B. (2007). Exploring the Mozart effect among high school students. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 1, 219-224. DOI: 10.1037/1931-3896.1.4.219.
Rauscher, F. H., Shaw, G. L., & Ky, K. N (1993). Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365, 611-611.doi: 10.1038/365611a0
Schellenberg, E. G., & Hallam, S. (2005). Music listening and cognitive ability in 10- and 11- year olds: The Blur effect. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1060, 202- 208. doi: 10.1196/annals.1360.013

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Does Playing Mozart To Babies Make Them Smarter? Essay

- This review aims to address the debate as to whether or not playing classical music enhances the cognitive development of infants. This question is raised in response to the claim made by music educator Don Campbell (1997), who states that ‘playing Mozart to babies makes them smarter’, by aiding their intellectual and creative development. It is important to determine if there is sufficient evidence behind this statement as people are paying money for their children to experience the claimed effects....   [tags: early cognitive development in infants]

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