#9  The Mozart Effect

As the Maui Summer Masterworks Project begins its first weeks of rehearsal for The Mozart Requiem, it seems like a time to mention Don Campbell’s fine book The Mozart Effect, and to recommend it to those who might be interested in the research that has been done on the subject of the power of music and it’s effect on our health, mind, body and spirit.

Are we deeply affected by what we choose to listen to as well as sing?  Are our own cognitive processes improved by elevating our experience and exposure to music composed by genius?  Does the elegance and rationality of Mozart’s music engage the mind and produce a particularly positive effect?


The answer is scientifically proven.

At the University of California at Irvine’s Center for Neurobiology and Learning and Memory, the effects of listening to Mozart on college students and children were studied.  The results were conclusive that there were significant improvements in spatial IQ tests. It was suggested that Mozart’s music had the effect of “warming up the brain”.  In separate research Alfred Tomatis, whose work in understanding the properties of listening and hearing, posed the question; were there “unique properties” to Mozart’s music?   His tests concluded that despite listener’s preferences, and previous exposure, “the music of Mozart invariably calmed listeners, improved spatial perception, and allowed them to express themselves more clearly—communicating with both heart and mind” 

Try this:

 When practicing your Mozart this week, see if YOU notice any effects you might attribute to working on your music.

The results of this little non-experiment would be so purely subjective as to not be scientific at all, yet see if you do become aware of being more calmed, more coordinated and more articulate. 


Have a very fine, calm, coordinated and articulate week,






Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Oppenheim-Beggs