Cause Effect Music On Intelligence

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

In 1993, Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California at Irvine performed a study that began the controversy regarding the relationship between classical music and intelligence. This study consisted of separating students into two groups; one group then listened to ten minutes of a Mozart piano sonata, and the other heard ten minutes of silence. Following these listening sessions, the groups of students were given spatial reasoning tests. The group that had listened to Mozart scored considerably higher. Is this a coincidence, or does music enhance intellectual ability? "As a group, children who study music score higher on standardized intelligence tests than children who do not,"� according to John Elderkin (Elderkin 43). Children who are exposed to music at a young age may have a higher IQ, increased coordination, improved self-discipline, and be better able to deal with their emotions.

Listening to, or more specifically playing, music has been shown to create an interaction between both hemispheres of the brain.

"Although the right hemisphere of the human brain has been traditionally viewed as the "˜musical hemisphere,' there is evidence from patients with brain damage and from functional imaging studies that our perception of music emerges from the interplay of neural pathways in both the right and left hemispheres, some specific to music, others not"� (Tramo 291). For example, the area of the brain that is associated with a musician's pitch is also involved in language processing. After learning about studies which suggested that listening to classical music could increase logic and mathematics abilities in infants, Zell Miller, Governor of Georgia, teamed up with Sony to guarantee that each child that was born in a state hospital in Georgia received a free copy of the musical recording entitled Build Your Baby's Brain Through the Power of Music. This recording included...