Mozart and Math

May 9, 2001

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The Bottom Line Music Education teaches children more than music!

A good reason to teach your young child music is the “Mozart Effect”. The Mozart Effect is a study that claims that exposure to certain types of music can lead to improved performance on tests, which involve spatial visualization and abstract reasoning. Some researchers believe that children that are exposed to music early in life may perform better in mathematics. The reason for this may be that music and mathematics have several things in common. Reading music can be equated to number lines. Notes represent counting.

Whether or not The Mozart Effect is real, music can teach a young child to focus. Learning the skill of sitting down and practicing an instrument for 15 minutes a day can also be applied to homework in the future.

Music also teaches reasoning. When the song doesn’t sound right the child has to figure out why. Am I playing the note incorrectly or is my instrument out of tune; these kinds of decisions help a child to learn to solve problems.

Music encourages creativity. Once the child has basic skills they can begin to create their own songs. Sometimes they will try to play a song they heard on the TV or radio by ear. Let’s not forget that the Loony Tunes background music is classical. Many commercials use classical music. Learning an instrument at an early age helps children make these connections.

When the child learns to play well enough to join the band or orchestra; they will also learn how to interface with a team. Friendships can form between children that play similar instruments.

My 14-year-old daughter has been playing the violin since she was four. Many of the girls she hangs around with are from orchestra. She also has gone on many trips with the orchestra. Getting back to the Mozart Effect, she’s also accelerated in math.

Even if none of these assumptions are true, what do you have to lose. You get the enjoyment of seeing your little one make music. What can be better than that!

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