The Mozart Effect

3.3 based on 15 ratings

Updated on Mar 04, 2010

Type

Behavioral Science

Grade Level

4-6

Difficulty Level

Medium

Project Time Frame

4-6 weeks

Objective

This project explores a supposed learning curve known as the “Mozart Effect”.

The goals of this project are:
  • To explain the cause(s) of the Mozart Effect.
  • To discover experimental evidence that either proves or disproves this theory.

Materials and Equipment:

  • Computer with internet access.
  • Music player
  • Digital camera (video optional)
  • Typical office/craft supplies (such as paper, pens & poster-board)

Introduction:

Ever wonder who wrote the music to the alphabet song (ABCDEFG etc.)? Ever notice it’s the same music as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star? Most kids (not to mention their parents) don’t realize they’re hearing the music of Mozart. Research studies have suggested that kids who listen to the music of Mozart learn more (or learn faster) than kids who are exposed to other types of music, or to no music at all. This became known as the Mozart Effect.

Research Questions

  1. Is there really a Mozart Effect?
  2. If not, why do some researchers think it exists?
  3. If so, how can this be used to our best educational advantage?

Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research

Basic statistical concepts such as averages, odds, probabilities, random samples, etc.

Experimental Procedure

  1. Read overviews of relevant topics (see bibliography).
  2. Design three standard, similar, age-appropriate math tests, or use existing math tests.
  3. Recruit 30 or more young student volunteers who are around the same age.
  4. Have the volunteers take test #1 while listening to Mozart’s music (not too loudly!).
  5. One week later, have the volunteers take test #2 in silence.
  6. A week after that, have the volunteers take test # 3 while listening to instrumental music that is not by Mozart (also not too loud, but clearly audible in the background).
  7. Carefully record all results and experimental details.
  8. Analyze the data.
  9. Interpret findings in a detailed report.
  10. Show results visually using charts and graphs.
  11. Display any interesting photos taken throughout the course of the experiment.

Bibliography

  1. Conceptual Statistics for Beginners (Newman, Isadore & Carol, 2005 reprint)
  2. Wiki article: “Mozart Effect”
Judee Shipman is a Bay Area Educational Consultant and professional writer of quality educational materials.  Her recent writing credits include Top50States.com (a popular and entertaining website about states), and a book called The Portable Chess Coach (Cardoza, 2006), currently available in stores.

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