Will listening to classical music make my child smarter?
No. This is simply a pervasive myth.
A 2010 study by researchers at the University of Vienna examined nearly 40 studies conducted on the subject, and reported that “there is little evidence left for a specific, performance-enhancing Mozart effect.”
Then why do so many people believe this?
This all stems from a single study in 1993 that never even examined the effect of classical music on infants or young children. That study reported that college students performed better at specific mental tasks after listening to Mozart, but subsequent research has found there to be little or no effect.
Even the author of that original study has since said she never meant for her work to be interpreted as a way to boost children’s cognitive development.
“I would simply say that there is no compelling evidence that children who listen to classical music are going to have any improvement in cognitive abilities,” said psychologist Frances Rauscher, in an interview with Scientific American. “It’s really a myth, in my humble opinion.”
Why should I trust you?
In doing thorough research on this topic, we found these to be the most useful and factual sources. We recommend reading them if you’d like more in-depth information:
- “Fact or Fiction?: Babies Exposed to Classical Music End Up Smarter” by Scientific American.
- “Mozart’s music does not make you smarter, study finds,” by Science Daily.
- “Prelude or requiem for the ‘Mozart effect’?” in Nature.
- “Two Randomized Trials Provide No Consistent Evidence for Nonmusical Cognitive Benefits of Brief Preschool Music Enrichment” in PLOS One.
- “The Mozart effect,” in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.