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The Mozart Effect

KT 16 Aug 00 - 02:41 AM
Crowhugger 16 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Aug 00 - 05:29 AM
katlaughing 16 Aug 00 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,John in Brisbane 16 Aug 00 - 08:32 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 16 Aug 00 - 08:36 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 00 - 09:33 AM
Wolfgang 16 Aug 00 - 09:55 AM
celticblues5 16 Aug 00 - 10:39 AM
catspaw49 16 Aug 00 - 11:02 AM
hesperis 16 Aug 00 - 11:54 AM
Kim C 16 Aug 00 - 12:20 PM
Whistle Stop 16 Aug 00 - 01:39 PM
KT 16 Aug 00 - 01:52 PM
celticblues5 16 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM
Susan-Marie 16 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM
katlaughing 16 Aug 00 - 08:08 PM
Barbara Shaw 16 Aug 00 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,John in Brisbane 16 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM
katlaughing 16 Aug 00 - 11:08 PM
Lox 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 AM
GUEST, Banjo Johnny 17 Aug 00 - 03:39 AM
Whistle Stop 17 Aug 00 - 08:21 AM
catspaw49 17 Aug 00 - 08:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Aug 00 - 09:03 AM
catspaw49 17 Aug 00 - 09:11 AM
John in Brisbane 17 Aug 00 - 09:15 AM
Wolfgang 17 Aug 00 - 09:49 AM
GUEST,Julie 21 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM
Stringsinger 21 Dec 10 - 03:17 PM
Barbara Shaw 21 Dec 10 - 03:36 PM
framus 22 Dec 10 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Eliza 22 Dec 10 - 02:33 PM
Dorothy Parshall 22 Dec 10 - 03:15 PM
The Fooles Troupe 22 Dec 10 - 04:29 PM
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Dorothy Parshall 22 Dec 10 - 08:51 PM
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Subject: The Mozart Effect
From: KT
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 02:41 AM

I am reading The Mozart Effect by Don Campbell and finding it fascinating. (Tapping the power of music to heal the body, strengthen the mind and unlock the creative spirit)

Have any of you Catters had personal experience which supports Campbell's findings? If so, please do share!!


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Crowhugger
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 03:36 AM

Well, this isn't exactly the Mozart effect as I understand it from hearsay; I haven't read the book but it was in the public eye a while back. When I'm singing I feel almost no physical pain. Now, how to have my throat hold out 24/7?!

CH.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 05:29 AM

Here is A New Scientist report which summarises the research up to 1999, and seems to come down on the side of a real effect.

The impression we've got is that there are two things going on here. One is a genune exploration of how certain types of music can really help the way people's minds work. Alongside this from what we've seen on the Internet there is a use of the expression "Mozart Effect" as a marketing ploy.

We've been trying to get hold of a copy of the book but our cut-back library service doesn't bave a copy.

But we'd really like to hear how Mudcatters have found music helpful for people with autism and learning difficulties in general. What types of music, what sort of situations... For example we've found with our daughter (who is autistic and now adult) that the Rachmaninov Vespers can have an almost magic effect in calming her down, as can CDs of Gregorian chant.

Anne and Kevin


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 07:54 AM

For some interesting comments along these lines, be sure to see the old thread, "Music Therapy"; just do a search and it should come up.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: GUEST,John in Brisbane
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 08:32 AM

I came across the following when I was researching Scots Dictionary. It's from the Skeptics Dictionary site and in another part is scathing about Campbell.

Not according to Kenneth Steele, a psychology professor at Appalachian State University, and John Bruer, head of the James S. McDonnell Foundation in St. Louis. Contrary to all the hype, they claim that there is no real intelligence enhancing or health benefit to listening to Mozart. Steele and his colleagues Karen Bass and Melissa Crook claim that they followed the protocols set forth by Shaw and Rauscher but could not "find any kind of effect at all," even though their study tested 125 students. They concluded that "there is little evidence to support intervention programs based on the existence of the Mozart effect." Their research appears in the July 1999 issue of Psychological Science.

In his book The Myth of the First Three Years, Bruer attacks not only the Mozart Effect but several other related myths based on the misinterpretation of recent brain research.

The Mozart Effect is an example of how science and the media mix in our world. A suggestion in a few paragraphs in a scientific journal becomes a universal truth in a matter of months, eventually believed even by the scientists who initially recognized how their work had been distorted and exaggerated by the media. Others, smelling the money, jump on the bandwagon and play to the crowd, adding their own myths, questionable claims, and distortions to the mix. In this case, many uncritical supporters line up to defend the faith because at stake here is the future of our children. We then have books, tapes, CDs, institutes, government programs, etc. Soon the myth is believed by millions as a scientific fact. In this case, the process met with little critical resistance because we already know that music can affect feelings and moods, so why shouldn't it affect intelligence and health? It's just commonsense, right? Yes, and all the more reason to be skeptical.

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 08:36 AM

I've been a sceptic re the Mozart Effect because of the Money Effect, but I also know from personal experience the power of music to heal and stimulate and soothe. Don Campbell has also edited a book I'm now reading entitled, "Music: Physician for the Time to Come" and it's fascinating- runs the gamut from technical/scientific to far-out woo-woo. But the studies on harmony, vibration, and the human body and psyche fascinate me.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 09:33 AM

Hey....Does music make you feel good? Does laughter make you feel good? Does worry take years from your life?

I don't need any additional research.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 09:55 AM

Spaw,
the original effect was that your measured intelligence was improved by Mozart. And I know a lot of activities that make me feel good but don't jump to the conclusion that my intelligence is improved by doing them. I need a lot of additional research before I believe that.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: celticblues5
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 10:39 AM

Just in general, I would think that, the more kinds of stimulation that are applied to the human brain (up to a point, of course - obviously there can be overload), the more this would expand intelligence - just due to one component of intelligence being familiarity with what is set before one. (In the same way that a certain aspect of "intelligence" can be measured by IQ tests that are biased toward a particular culture - if one is oriented to that particular culture, one is necessarily "more intelligent" in that aspect)

But, beyond that, there seems to be a patterning that occurs that should be of interest to those of us with a passion for music. I did my final paper for child development on the physiological and psychological effects of lullabies, and found that there has been quite a bit of research to suggest that orientation to such things as tone & interval through using music with babies shows up later in increased aptitude for actual aural discrimination & performance.

And those of us who work in health care can attest to the usefulness of music therapy, both physiologically & cognitively. As far as the lasting effects of music, there may even be a part of the brain that is neurologically "hard-wired" for music - there is, after all, a type of stroke after which one cannot speak, but can still sing. :-) And research indicates that, the MORE musical exposure one has, the greater the chances of this faculty being preserved.

No one can argue that ANY research should be scrutinized before acceptance, but I have to accept the positive effects just based on experience.

As a side note - one of the findings of lullaby studies was - not surprisingly - that, in general, using the soprano range serves as a STIMULUS rather than a relaxing agent. So - if you're having difficulty with that crabby baby, try your lower register for a more lulling effect. :-)


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: catspaw49
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 11:02 AM

Yeah Wolfgang, I do understand the original hypothesis and you are certainly correct in your statement. I guess the thing I was trying to say was that I have read and heard so many things that purport this or that with reams of research, that the whole thing wearies me a bit anymore. Its hard to believe that things such as music could be harmful isn't it? And the amount to which they may help in any given area is always open to conjecture regardless of the amount of research done.......Hence my less than intelligent and somewhat hedonistic thought process. Sorry.

I found research in what was called "Hawthorn Effect" interesting. Briefly, they changed the lighting in a plant and the productivity went up, then dropped a bit and leveled off again. They changed the lighting again and the same thing happened. And again....and again. After great amounts of research they concluded that any change was more interesting than boredom and resulted in higher prooduction. Well duh. Hope that didn't cost too much!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: hesperis
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 11:54 AM

Personally I found that when I listened to Mozart or Beethoven before a math test, it calmed me more than listening to Rage Against The Machine, and that I was more easily able to recognize the mathematical patterns I needed to understand on the test. Of course, that could be just a result of the relaxation.

A few years after high school, I read the book, and I do remember it saying that the music of the Masters increased spatial intelligence. That is a different thing than general IQ, although a part of the tests?

I have listened to 'classical' music all my life, and I find that I tend to visualize the music when I am listening to it, I see patterns and shapes as well as colours of emotional tone and timbre. I tried to describe it to a friend who grew up on Jazz, and she couldn't see the patterns until I taught her a little bit about arranging. I do think differently when arranging, or when writing orchestral music, than when I write songs or poetry. And I personally think differently while I am listening to 'classical' music.

Is intelligence a fixed thing? (When I am PMSing it is much easier to be irrational...) If your intelligence is measured partly by your acclimatization to the culture, which is part of the environment around you, then can changing another variable in that environment affect how well you acclimatize, and therefore affect your measured intelligence? Physical states and emotional states can affect one's ability to think well and logically, and music definitely does affect one's emotional state.

The concept of 'toning' for healing is similar to 'healing touch' in that music is energy, and energy can affect other energy. If I can 'smooth' away a friend's pain when she hurts her finger, I can 'smooth' it away by understanding frequency, and singing a note to cancel out the pain. (Not that I have studied the music of healing enough to do so.)
Pain definitely shows up as a disturbance in the energy field around the body. The aura does exist, it has been photographed, and supposedly can be seen by anyone with the aid of a glass plate which is a certain colour of blue. Look up Kirlian Photography, it's fascinating.
(I can feel the aura, I haven't seen it yet though. Can't find a good sheet of blue glass.)

I'm getting a leetle off topic. (I love this stuff!)
BTW, does anyone else see patterns in music the way I described it?

~*sirepseh*~


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Kim C
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 12:20 PM

I'm with Spaw! Music makes me feel good!

It could be that the positive physical effects of music enhance the powers of the brain... relaxation and all that. But with all such hypotheses and theories, what works for Jane may not work for Sue. So you have Jane saying, wow, I tried this and It Really Works! And Sue's over in the corner going, what a bunch of Hogflap.....

That being said, however, I firmly believe in the power of music.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 01:39 PM

I agree with a lot of what is said here -- that music is a nice thing, that it helps you relate to the world, that relating to the world helps you understand the world, that understanding the world has a lot to do with "intelligence". But John in Brisbane has a good point about the way scientific research is dumbed down when it's presented in the media, the caveats and uncertainties are ignored, and the result is that the "Mozart effect" and similar phenomena are suddenly taken as gospel truth (at least until the next piece of research seems to contradict them). I work in a scientific field myself, and this dynamic is so pervasive that it is both amusing and discouraging.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: KT
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 01:52 PM

Thanks, everyone for your thoughts....fascinating!!

I agree that a certain amount of skepticism is healthy and wise....AND an open mind is, too. I try to find the balance...

I'm also interested in hearing anyone's response to McGrath's last paragraph.... "But we'd really like to hear how Mudcatters have found music helpful for people with autism and learning difficulties in general. What types of music, what sort of situations... For example we've found with our daughter (who is autistic and now adult) that the Rachmaninov Vespers can have an almost magic effect in calming her down, as can CDs of Gregorian chant."


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: celticblues5
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM

Kim is absolutely right about what works for one may not for another - that is why, when you start doing music therapy with someone you need to do an assessment. (And we use it for physiological processes as well as mental ones - rhythmic breathing to help with respiratory problems, music to enhance the rhythmicity of physical therapy exercises, etc.)
If someone tried to do music therapy on me with hardcore, twangy, nasal CW, for example - no way would that relax me - just annoy, resulting in no therapeutic effects. But there's a ton of music I love that I know others hate - skirling pipes, etc! GOTTA do an assessment to find out what they find relaxing, stimulating, etc.
Then you have to go with what they want - living in small town Iowa, it is, often, the exact music I hate, but I have to use it without betraying my own prejudices. This can be DIFFICULT! *BG*


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 03:46 PM

My oldest daughter Kiera had colic. Only jazz would distract her. I don't think it calmed her so much as it diverted her from whatever was making her scream.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 08:08 PM

Just by chance, I saw this article, today. Looks as though there is more/new biological evidence about music and its effect on the brain. It's a little long and I had to copy it, then scan it in and try to catch whatever the scanner didn't get right. Sorry if there are any typos. Please enjoy...thanks,kat

MUSIC ON THE MIND - Scientists are finding that the human brain is prewired for music. Could this sublime expression of culture be as much about biology as art?

by Sharon Begley - NEWSWEEK July 24, 2000

If you were to peek inside Sandra Trehub's lab, you might easily mistake it for one of those obnoxious superbaby classes. Beaming 6- to 9-month-olds sit transfixed in a parent's lap as a few seconds of melody pours from the speakers, and become more alert when the tempo or pitch changes. But the University of Toronto psychologist isn't trying to teach infants the finer points of Vivaldi. She is, instead, trying to shed light on whether the human brain comes preloaded with music software the way a laptop comes preloaded with Windows. In one test, Trehub varies the pitch, tempo and melodic contour of music, and finds that babies can detect changes in all three. The infants recognize that a melody whose pitch or tempo has changed is the same melody, for instance, suggesting that they have a rudimentary knowledge of music's components. The real surprise, though, comes when Trehub plays consonant (pleasant) and dissonant passages in an attempt to tease out whether our musical preferences are shaped by culture alone or wired into our brain from birth. Infants, she finds, smile when the air is filled with perfect fourths and perfect fifths-chords or sequences separated by five half steps, like C and F, or seven half steps, like C and G, respectively. But babies hate the ugly tritone, in which two notes are separated by six half steps, like C an F sharp, and sound so unresolved and unstable that in medieval times it was known as "the devil." What seems to be biologically based preference "may explain the inclusion of the perfect fifths and fourths in music across cultures and across centuries " says Trehub.

Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, but scientists are finding that it works those charms through the brain. At recent conference of the NewYork Academy of Sciences, Trehub and dozens of other scientists interspersed their PFT scans and MRIs with snatches of Celine Dion and Stravinsky as they reported on the biological foundations of music. Besides the musical babies, several other lines of evidence suggest that the human brain is wired for music, and that some forms of intelligence are enhanced by music. Perhaps the most striking hint that the brain holds a special place in its gray matter for music is that people can typically remember scores of tunes, and recognize hundreds more. But we can recall only snatches of a few prose passages ("Four score and seven years ago..."). Also, music affects the mind in powerful ways: it not only incites passion, belligerence, serenity or fear, but does so even in people who do not know from experience, for instance, that a particular crescendo means the killer is about to pop out on the movie screen. All in all, says psychologist Isabelle Peretz of the University of Montreal, "the brain seems to be specialized for music."

The temporal lobes of the brain, just behind the ears, act as the music center. When neurosurgeons tickle these regions with a probe, patients have been known to hear tunes so vividly that they ask, "Why is there a phonograph in the operating room?" The temporal lobes are also where epileptic seizures typically begin, and for some epilepsy patients "the power of music" is no cliché: music triggers their seizures. But not any music. The seizures are style-dependent. In one patient only salsa triggers seizures; in another, only classical does; in others, only operatic arias or pop tunes do.

The most controversial finding about the musical mind is that learning music can help children do better at math. When a researcher at the recent conference in New York brought up these studies, he got an auditorium full of laughs. Yet the link, reported in 1997 by Gordon Shaw of the University of California, Irvine, and Frances Rauscher at the University of Wisconsin, has held up. Last year Shaw compared three groups of second graders: 26 got piano instruction plus practice with a math video game, 29 received extra English lessons plus the math game and 28 got no special lessons. After four months the piano kids scored 15 percent to 41 percent higher on a test of ratios and fractions than the other kids. This year, Shaw reported that music can help bridge a socioeconomic gap. He compared second graders in inner- city Los Angeles to fourth and fifth graders in more affluent Orange County, Calif. After a year of piano, the second graders who received twice-a-week piano training in school scored as well as the fourth graders, who did not; half of the second graders scored as well as fifth graders.

But might music work its magic simply by making school more enjoyable, or because music lessons bring kids more one-on-one time with teachers? If that were so, then music should bring about improvements in many subjects. But it doesn't. Although kids who receive music training often improve somewhat across the board due to the "good mood' and attention effects, finds psychologist Martin Gardiner of Brown University, "they just shoot ahead in math. This can't be explained by social effects or attention alone. There is something specific about music and math." That something might be that music involves proportions, ratios, sequences- all of which underlie mathematical reasoning.

The brain seems to be a sponge for music and, like a sponge in water, is changed by it. The brain's left and right hemispheres are connected by a big trunk line called the corpus callosum. When they compared the corpus callosum in 30 nonmusicians with the corpus callosum in 30 professional string and piano players, researchers led by Dr. Gottfried Schlaug of Beth Israel Deaconess Center in Boston striking differences. The front part of this thick cable of neurons is larger in musicians, especially if they began their training before the age of 7. The front of the corpus callosum connects the two sides of the pre-frontal cortex, the site of planning and foresight. It also connects the two sides of the premotor cortex, where actions are mapped out before they're executed. 'These connections are critical for coordinating fast, bi-manual movements" such as those a pianist's hands execute in an allegro movement, says Schlaug. The neural highway connecting the right and left brain may explain something else, too. The right brain is linked to emotion, the left to cognition. The greatest musicians, of course, are not only masters of technique but also adept at infusing their playing with emotion. Perhaps this is why.

Whatever music does to the brain, scientists figured you would have to actually do music to get the effects. Well, maybe not. Researchers led by Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Beth Israel taught nonmusicians a simple five-finger piano exercise. The volunteers practiced in the lab two hours a day for five days. Not surprisingly, the amount of territory the brain devotes to moving the fingers expanded. But then the scientists had another group think only about practicing-that is, the volunteers mentally rehearsed the five- finger sequence, also for two hours at a time. "This changed the cortical map just the way practicing physically did" says Pascual-Leone. "They made fewer mistakes when they played, just as few mistakes as people actually practicing for five days. Mental and physical practice improves performance more than physical practice alone, something we can now explain physiologically."

Pianists Artur Rubinstein and Vladimir Horowitz were legendary for hating to practice. Rubinstein simply disliked sitting in front of the piano for hours on end; Horowitz feared that the feel and feedback of pianos other than his beloved Steinway would hurt his concert performance. But both men engaged in extensive mental rehearsals. "Mental imagery may activate the same regions of the brain as actual practice, and produce the same changes in synapses," says Josef Rauschecker of Georgetown University. Advice to parents trying to get children to practice: keep this to yourself.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 08:20 PM

I remember a specific Mozart Effect on my older son, who is very gifted intellectually (as is his younger brother):

When he was a roller (never crawled, just rolled around on the floor and went from rolling directly to walking) he was rolling around on the living room rug one day and the TV was going. Music is always playing during the commercials, and he took little note of any of it as he scooted around. However, during one commercial a snippet of Mozart (I think it was Eine Kleine Nachtmusik) came on, and he stopped dead in his tracks in front of the TV.

Just stopped and stared until the Mozart music ended, and then resumed rolling.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: GUEST,John in Brisbane
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 10:51 PM

Everyone hear loves music and we all know that it has the power to enchant, entertain, bemuse and bewilder. We've all experienced it ourself - and we've seen it in countless others. I get very nervous though when I see articles in Newsweek which refer to 'eminent' persons who have performed research (and continue to live off it) even though other studies have seriously debunked the conclusions.

I'm not going to say too much more, but how many times have I used personal experience combined with other's anecdotes to reinforce my personal beliefs (prejudices) about music, politics, drugs, religion and phobias. Probably for my every conscious moment. The fact that I believe in it doesn't make it true. If I conduct a straw poll and get unanimous support that doesn't make it any truer. And of course the corollary is that if I get unanimous opposition it doesn't make it any falser. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Aug 00 - 11:08 PM

Sorry, John, but if someone "emminent" had done research that said flying was impossible and someone else "emminent" said it is possible, should no one ever try to prove it can be done?

This is new research and not from any single unnamed source. Have there been any biological studies, like this, that refute the research facts of the brain changes which were noted?

Is it a crime to earn a living from research? I didn't see any mention of any of the scientists involved getting rich off of any book deals or anything. Sure they may in the future, or someone may exploit their findings, but I believe they are sincere in trying to prove something and that does, after all, require some funding. Many of them do not get paid that much, believe me. My neice is a Ph.D at the Salk Institute and one of the few in the world working in a very rarified field of nicotinic research in regards to Alzheimer's...she makes less than $20,000 per year, last I knew.

Oh, well, guess we will never agree on some of this. You are right, though, we all do love music.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Lox
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 12:13 AM

Try reading a book when the top 40 is on the radio, and then try reading one with "eine kleine nachtmusik" on your cd player.

Repeat the experiment with "Requiem"(mozarts version) moonlight sonata (beethoven) A night in tunisia (charlie parker) etc... etc...

Even if you are unable to come to a conclusion, you will have read a load of books, and listened to some great music. In fact, from this point of view, it could be a good thing to backdate your final report till the 31st december 2099.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: GUEST, Banjo Johnny
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 03:39 AM

Some interesting contributions here, and thanks kat for the article. Here's the part I don't understand:

<< Researchers led by Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone of Beth Israel taught nonmusicians a simple five-finger piano exercise. The volunteers practiced in the lab two hours a day for five days. Not surprisingly, the amount of territory the brain devotes to moving the fingers expanded. >>

Two hours??? Okay class, do-mi-sol-fa, mi-fa-re-mi, do. Now keep playing that for the next two hours. Not surprisingly, the attention span begins to fade after the first 40 minutes or so. But keep going! And come back every day this week for more lessons.

<< But then the scientists had another group think only about practicing- that is, the volunteers mentally rehearsed the five-finger sequence, also for two hours at a time. "This changed the cortical map just the way practicing physically did" says Pascual-Leone. >>

Now group, you are going to sit and think about playing for the next two hours.

My cortical map is folding up, just thinking about thinking about playing for two hours. How much are these subjects getting paid? Sorry to be obtuse, but this sounds like the music class from hell. Now for the part I don't understand.

The experimenter concluded about the second group:

<< They made fewer mistakes when they played, just as few mistakes as people actually practicing for five days. >>

Fewer than what? Doesn't he mean, they made just as many mistakes as people actually practicing -- ? If so, what has been proved?

His conclusion: << Mental and physical practice improves performance more than physical practice alone. >>

Is there such a thing as physical practice alone? I thought the second group was doing mental practice alone.

I was hoping "mental practice alone" would work, just like Prof. Harold Hill's famous Think System. Then we could just think about practicing the piano, and make "just as few" mistakes as though we had actually played one.

I'm sure the fine people at Beth Israel are onto something here. (Perhaps the Newsweek writer got things mixed up, what with all the re-writing and editing.) This could lead to a whole new school of musical pedagogy. Want to learn the violin? Maybe if you wish, really really hard ...

Getting back to the Mozart Effect. Is there any evidence that Mozart himself was good at math? From what I have read, he earned lots of money but he was lousy at accounting, and died broke. Now please, don't everyone jump on me, because I love Mozart's music, even the operas, and I'm very sorry he died so young, and so miserably. One thing we can be sure of is that he was very good at music, but you won't find his name in books on the history of mathematics.

I'm afraid that if there were anything to this Mozart/ mathematics connection, it would have been evident long ago. Why now? And, "cui bono?" == Johnny in OKC


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 08:21 AM

kat, I don't thing John in Brisbane was arguing against research. As I understood it, he was arguing against overstating the results of research -- taking certain indicators and preliminary impressions from a research project, and reporting them as if they are "facts". As I said, I think he has a point.

Does music have an impact on our intellectual abilities and pyschological well-being? I believe it probably does. But does listening to Mozart make us more intelligent? That's a more specific question, and one that I would be reluctant to answer with any certainty unless it was better established. Anyway, I think we're still struggling with the definition of "intelligence," so we really shouldn't be too presumptuous about this.

I'm all in favor of research, but I'm also in favor of reporting the results with appropriate honesty and humility. I think this was the same point John was trying to make.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 08:49 AM

Banjo J..........I know that "imagination" is tied to the physical, but the point in trying to maximize the mental part is no small thing.

It is easier to see the results in sports, but the idea is that in your imagination, you are perfect. There is a classic anecdote (true) about a POW who returned home emaciated as most did. He had been an avid golfer and everyday in captivity, he had played a round of golf at his favorite course in his mind. He always played a "perfect" round, straight drives, and never more than two putts. When he got out of the hospital, still not in the best shape, he went out and played a round. Although he hadn't touched a club in 7 years and was at less than a physical peak, he shot one of the best rounds he had ever had.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:03 AM

That's a great story spaw, and I hope it is true. It could be a great song.

But "the idea is that in your imagination, you are perfect" - no, that doesn't apply for me reliably. If I'm imagining myself doing something tricky, like performing in a difficult situation, I'll probably screw up worse than in real life.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: catspaw49
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:11 AM

That's the trick Mac!!! To see yourself doing it perfectly everytime. The folks in the "motivational speaker" dodge refer to it as positive self talk.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:15 AM

WS sums up my beliefs very well. Perhaps I was being too polite but it would appear that Shaw and Rauscher's work has been discredited to the extent that other researchers have been unable to replicate it. I don't believe that there has been any form of vendetta against the pair, except that other qualified people have smelt a rat. Nothing would please me more than to see that the Mozart Effect really works, but the more we truly crave something good the greater the possibility that we will gravitate to a flawed answer - either from people who genuinely believe that they have the answer, or from charlatans who want to increase their fame, power or wealth. If you'd really like to read more from both camps of professionals then follow the link I provided earlier in the thread. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Aug 00 - 09:49 AM

I'm a scientist and I know from many experiences that what you read about research in popular accounts is, more often than not, plainly wrong. Vital points are left out, qualifications are not mentioned, the experiment is not described in any meaningful way (see Banjo Johnny's problems above, where I guess the article just fails to mention a necessary control group to make the data understandable). Journalists usually are not trained in mathematics or scientific methodology, do not read the primary sources and do not care much for truth if the truth is too long or too awkward to tell.
When a scientist has written "there's a speculative interpretation of the data that should be read with a grain of salt" you can find that reported as "Prof. ... has shown".
Scientists have to learn a lot about the methods of their trade to make sure they do a decent job in performing and reporting experiments and their conclusions from the data. I tell you a secret. If lay people tell about scientific results that they knew it all along and that it is trivial, scientists like that about as much as folk musicians like it if someone says 'Oh, I see it's just a little bit blowing and fingering. I bet you I could do it at least as good in four weeks."

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: GUEST,Julie
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM

I definitely believe that the Mozart Affect works. I played Mozart for Babies to my daughter from birth every night for a year and a half. She is now 6 years old and is an amazing little girl. Her current school have commented on her all round abilities, she is excellent at all sports, including football, tennis, badminton, horseriding and her hand eye co-ordination is fantastic for such a yound age. She has been awarded the sports award two years running from Reception year. On an academic level she is two years ahead in all subjects specifically Math's (She has just be chosen for the gifted and talented group for Mathematics) Both my husband and I work with computers and are educated, but my daughter shows capabilities that are way beyond her years.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Stringsinger
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:17 PM

There is a briar patch here. Cultural conditioning has a lot to do with musical affects on a listener.

For example, as a trained musician, I find New Age music of a minimalist sort rather boring and hence aggravating. It has the opposite affect on me than it was intended for it to have.

A sublime jazz solo has the same calming affect on me as does Mozart.

I think that genes and environment have as much to do with abilities as does Mozart but
Mozart may help some (not all) children along.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 21 Dec 10 - 03:36 PM

Interesting to reread this thread. I still remember the event I posted above (Aug 16, 2000). That baby is now a grad student (A.I. at the MIT Media Lab). His younger brother is now a full-time musician. Both were exposed to a great deal of classical music all the years they lived at home.

However, they were also exposed to a great deal of rock music and in later years, bluegrass. So now I'm hedging about the "Mozart" effect as opposed to the effect of music altogether, which I absolutely confirm.

I think people (at least the ones in my family) are wired to respond to certain types of musical stimuli, probably a cultural effect or genetic memory, don't know. I do know that some jazz, the kind that has uneven rhythms and unusual (for me) intervals in the harmonies, makes me uncomfortable. So for me, there's a "Jazz Effect" that is counter-productive.

If I had to give up all music except for one composer or artist, I would have trouble deciding between Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: framus
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 02:21 PM

Helllo Madcosters,
I wuz razed on Strindberg - duz it shoow!
Davy.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 02:33 PM

I agree with Stringsinger, that cultural conditioning has a lot to do with effects on a listener. In fact, I would say it has everything to do with it! If you associate a certain song or piece of music with an event in your life (good or bad) you will probably experience the same emotions as you did in the past. And people from different cultures have very different experience of music. My dentist plays music in his waiting room in an attempt to calm his patients, but it's so dire it makes me twitch! Bagpipes can drive people mad, but I adore them. But has anyone else found that total SILENCE is very healing? I once stood on the edge of the Sahara, and there was absolute, complete silence, you could almost touch it. I started to feel extremely calm and at peace within. Perhaps it was the LACK of stimulation, which gave my mind and heart a rest.


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 03:15 PM

The old nature/nurture argument is dead in the water as we learn more about what affects infants in utero and even pre-in utero. No doubt, from what I have been reading, Julie's child started learning all that stuff in utero just as Mozart started learning music in utero.

Yes, Eliza, I cannot live without large quantities of SILENCE! We are very much not alone. When I lived in the deep country, and even sometimes now, I could endure town for a certain amount of time and, all of a sudden, I would get in the car and GO HOME - where I could have the silence I crave. It was not a conscious decision; I would just find myself in the car....

There is considerable research about the Mozart effect. There may be other types of music and sounds which have healing effects. I have used Gregorian Chants to soothe myself into sleep mode.

ETC...


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 04:29 PM

Sensory Deprivation float tanks have been around for a while.

But too much of that can also drive you nuts - been used as torture for ages....


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 05:10 PM

A good friend of mine, a writer and poet by trade, who has been around the local folk music scene for many years, gave me a copy of this book:   This Is Your Brain on Music, by Daniel J. Levitan.

Excellent! Highly recommended to anyone who listens to music, but especially to musicians.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: The Mozart Effect
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 22 Dec 10 - 08:51 PM

Yes! My musician son and other members of his group found that book excellent.


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