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By Frank Simme

Mozart Effect is not Efficient

Research is not Duplicable

Sufficient Research Showing No Effect Mozart Effect Leading to New Discoveries Musically-Informed Students Perform at Higher Academic Standings How Music Makes Students Perform at a Higher Standing Application to the Findings Mozart Effect not Efficient New Discovery Music Programs Need to Stay in Schools


There are multiple studies done by researchers to see if the Mozart Effect is really what people thought it was. What researchers found was surprising. Many of them found that the Mozart Effect does in fact work while the rest of them found that it didnt work In the study conducted by Shaw, Rauscher, and Ky, 79 students were selected and given a paper folding and cutting project to work on that was designed to test their spatial reasoning and the results were gathered. On the next day, the students were separated into three different groups. One group would sit in silence for ten minutes before taking the test again, the other group listened to ten minutes of a Mozart piece before testing and the last group tested on multiple days with something different to listen to each time. What the research concluded that the group that listened to a Mozart piece for ten minutes before testing performed at a higher quality than the other groups. This is what the researchers determined based on the findings.

Our proposed mechanisms for the enhancement of spatial reasoning by music include the following. (i) Listening to music helps 'organize' the cortical firing patterns so that they do not wash out for other pattern development functions, in particular, the right hemisphere processes of spatial-temporal task performance. (ii) Music acts as an 'exercise' for exciting and priming the common repertoire and sequential flow of the cortical firing patterns responsible for higher brain functions. (iii) The cortical symmetry operations among the inherent patterns are enhanced and facilitated by music (Rauscher 47).
10 8 Silence

Number Correct

6 4 2 0 Before Testing After Testing

Mixed Mozart


Kenneth Steele conducted a new set of experiments to try and duplicate the results found in Rauschers research. The purpose of this experiment was to confirm the existence of the Mozart effect by following the advice of Rauscher and Shaw (Steele 2). Every step from Rauschers experiment was followed by Steele and he came across a surprising result. The main result was that no significant Mozart effect was found despite replication of the procedure used by Rauscher (Steele 4). Even though Steele followed the exact same procedure that Rauscher did, he came up with a different result than Rauscher did which brought them to the conclusion that the Mozart effect may work in some cases but might not be very consistent. These are the results found after Steeles attempt to duplicate Rauschers experiment .

14 12 10 8 6 4 2
Number Correct

Silence Mixed Mozart

0 Before Testing After Testing

(Steele 367)

The first experiment was promising considering that the Mozart Effect looked like Mozarts music had a significant effect on how well the students did on the spatial reasoning tests. What makes the Mozart Effect hard to believe is that when Kenneth Steele tried to replicate the same experiment, the results were extremely different making the Mozart Effect hard to rely on.


Going alongside the ideas of the Mozart Effect by Rauscher and how it is not consistent, there have also been many different studies that have been found that show that the Mozart Effect does not work. Rudi Crncec conducted a study to see if he could come up with some results concerning the Mozart Effect using a different study as opposed to trying to duplicate Rauschers study.

The results of this study indicated no evidence of a Mozart effect in upper-primaryschool-age children. Children performed no differently on tests of spatiotemporal reasoning following passive exposure to Mozart, popular music, or silence (Crncec 9). This study along with many others (McKelvie; Steele) show, through their conducted studies, that the Mozart Effect does not stay consistent because of their contradicting results. Although there are many studies that show that the Mozart Effect does improve spatial reasoning, the fact that there are other studies that say otherwise shows that the Mozart Effect is inconsistent. Based on that idea, the Mozart Effect is not reliable.


Even though, through the disappointment of the Mozart Effect not being what people hoped, a new discovery arose from it. Through the idea that after listening to a piece by Mozart made students spatial reasoning better, people started looking into how music, if understood, could help students. Studies started looking into how the process of understanding music and all the different set of skills one must need to understand it could help with building a set of skill to tackle other problems that students may encounter in the classroom.


Harry King takes the first step by conducting a study using participants that formed two different groups. The participants consisted of sixty-four musically informed and sixty-four musically uninformed fifth and sixth grade students. After extensive testing, King places the students into two different groups, one holding the more musically informed students and the other holding the less musically informed students. He then takes all of the participants and gives them an IQ test and found that the more musically informed students scored around seven points higher than the uninformed students (King 36).

The purpose of this study was to ascertain what relationship exists between the factor of intelligence and the ability to learn to read music (King 37). The study resulted in a finding that more musically informed students score higher than students that are less musically informed. The results obtained suggest strongly that there is a definite relationship between intelligence and the ability to read music. Poor music readers seem to test lower on the scale of intelligence than do good music readers (King 39). This study shows that the understanding of music can be directly correlated with intellect.


Through studies, like the one performed by King, showing the relationship between music education and intellect, more studies then looked into how and why that is possible. Susan Hallem wrote a paper connecting the dots. The aim of this paper is to consider what we know about the ways that transfer can occur in relation to the skills developed through active engagement with music and how they may impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people (Hallam 6).


Through the discovery of the Mozart Effect and the finding of its inconsistency leading to the discovery of music education advancing learning, it sheds light on the current problem of budget cuts in the United States. Many schools have to cut back on music education in order to help save the government money. Throughout this paper, it has been proven that music helps in the classroom environment so this should be taken into account when deciding if schools should cut music education from the schools system .

Crncec, Rudi, Sarah Wilson, and Margot Prior. "No Evidence for the Mozart Effect in Children." University of California Press . 9-15. Print. Hallam, Susan. "The Power of Music: Its Impact on the Intellectual, Social and Personal Development of Children and Young People." International Journal of Music Education. 6-9. Print. King, Harry. "A Study of the Relationship of Music Reading and I.Q. Scores." Sage Publications . 36-39. Print.

McKelvie, Pippa, and Jason Low. "Listening to Mozart does not Improve Childrens Spatial Ability: Final Curtains for the Mozart Effect." . School of Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand . Print.
Rauscher, Frances. "Music Training Causes Long-Term Enhancement of Preschool Children's Spatial-Temporal Reasoning." Neurological Research . 46-7. Print. Steele, Kenneth, Karen Bass, and Melissa Crook. "The Mystery of the Mozart Effect: Failure to Replicate." Sage Publications . 2-4. Print.