MIND AND MUSIC
New Studies Suggest Music Enhances Mental Power
Mozart’s music can raise your IQ… at least temporarily, according to research published in the British science journal Nature. Thirty six college students listened to 10 minutes of Mozart’s Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, 10 minutes of a relaxation tape and 10 minutes of silence. They took different tests of abstract reasoning after each listening, and the average post-Mozart score was 119, as opposed to 111 for the relaxation tape and 110 for silence. The sonata’s IQ boost disappeared after about 25 minutes when students were tested after hearing something else, so it’s not clear whether the benefits simply “wore off” of if they were “erased” by whatever the student heard next.
SAT SCORES AND THE ARTS
Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 1996, SAT takers with course work or experience in music (“study or appreciation”) scored 60 points higher on the verbal portion and 42 points higher on the math portion than did students with no course work or experience in the arts. Scores for those with course work in music performance were 51 points higher on the verbal portion and 36 points higher on the math portion. And longer arts study means higher SAT scores: In 1996, those who had studied the arts four or more years scored 59 points higher on verbal and 41 points higher on math than students with no course work or experience in the arts.
Data for these reports were gathered by the Student Descriptive Questionnaire, a component of the SAT that provides information about students’ academic preparation.