Does listening to music make you smarter?

Have you noticed that your favourite music makes you feel better? Well, research proves that it can make you smarter too! ?

We hear music almost every day at different situations which range from shopping at the mall to our daily commute to work. Has it ever occurred to you that there are some benefits to listening to music for our brain? Research scientists may have had found some ?

In 1991, Dr. Gordon Shaw grew interested in brain theory and began his research on the brain’s capacity for spatial reasoning. He along with a graduate student, Xiaodan Leng, developed a model of the brain and used musical notes to represent brain activity ? They were astonished to find that the overall sound resembled that of classical music. This is when Shaw decided to test the results of classical music on the brain. He conducted a study on 3-year-old babies. However, it was only in 1993, he along with two other researchers, Rauscher and Ky discovered its effects on college students. They found from an experiment conducted on a group of 36 college undergraduates that their spatial-temporal intelligence improved after listening to just 10 minutes of a Mozart sonata. Hence, it was given the term “Mozart effect” and the idea took off ?

‘K.545 Mozart Piano Sonata no.16 in C major, II Adante’  helps in building concentration and can be helpful in meeting task deadlines, etc.

Thousands of parents started playing Mozart to their children, and in 1998 Zell Miller, the Governor of the state of Georgia in the US, even asked for money to be set aside from the state budget so that every newborn baby could be sent a CD of classical music ? But hold your horses before you start engaging yourself in hours of classical music. From reading the original scientific findings, it can be noted that this effect lasts for about fifteen minutes and that’s not enough time to cover the whole syllabus for the exam you need to ace next week! ?

Nevertheless, people still endorse this theory and began to wonder if only music from Mozart had this effect. Different studies by other scientists also confirmed with similar positive findings with short term benefits. In 2010, a large study was performed found a positive effect with other music as well. It was said that even listening to Schubert would also do the trick ?

Mozart effect is often practiced by expecting parents playing classical music to their unborn child. It is often associated with babies and small children even though majority of the research was conducted on adults. Back in 2006, a large study was conducted on eight thousand children in Britain where they were either exposed to almost 10 minutes of Mozart’s sonata or a sequence of pop songs, by choice ?

Once again music improved the ability for memory and thinking, but this time it wasn’t a Mozart effect. The children who listened to Mozart did well, but the ones into pop music did even better.

However, if you really want to improve your IQ, you have to do more than just binge on music. Learning to play an instrument can be beneficial for your brain ? Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich, said that learning to play an instrument can increase IQ by seven points, in both children and adults.

Whatever your musical choice is, it seems that in order to be more efficient at your workplace or in school, all you need is a little time with music ? Your mind just needs to get more active and that’s going to be whichever kind of music appeals to you. This is because your mind needs some cognitive arousal and music just does its thing. So, the next time you sit down to study, be it for daily preparations or a late-night cramming session before your semester exams, keep your playlist ready and hit the books. You got this, tiger!! ?

Written and Researched by Jain Susan Thomas

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