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Music and the Brain

In: Film and Music

Submitted By mjones2014
Words 585
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Music is much more than idle entertainment. It affects the brain in physical ways, altering pathways and stimulating certain areas to grow. Listening to music provides a temporary rise in cognitive IQ levels and learning it actually changes those levels on a more permanent basis. Professional musicians especially show marked differences in physical brain structure and cognitive thought processes.

In 1993, a study was done at the University of California, Irvine that showed a temporary improvement of IQ scores when students listened to ten minutes of a Mozart Sonata. The specific area of increased intelligence was spatial-temporal reasoning. This effect has since been dubbed “the Mozart effect” and has encouraged both further study and opposing views (Jones, “Introduction”). More recent and ongoing studies at the M.I.N.D. Institute have shown dramatic math and cognitive enhancements provided by simultaneous musical instruction. The institute implements a side-by-side program of cognition based math games with specialized piano instruction. Students are tested using nationally standardized tests and score an average of 20 percent higher than students not utilizing this type of program. Scores continue to rise the longer the student has been in the program (M.I.N.D. Institute). Spatial-temporal reasoning is highly developed and the music training provides a basis for the students to recognize patterns and symmetry as well as to understand certain mathematical concepts from a musical angle (i.e. note values and the spacing of music measures).

The record industry has taken advantage of the media hype surrounding this information and put out numerous CD’s purporting to enhance your child’s brain. What they overlook, however, is the contrast between experiment results that show only a temporary enhancement when listening to music, while permanent cognitive enhancement…...

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