From Mozart to Einstein
Scientists have shown that the so-called "Mozart effect" of music in young children is just a myth. This popular idea said that exposing young children to classical music improves their ability in non-verbal tasks. Nevertheless, researchers did find a more interesting effect of classical music on students.
At the beginning of the school year, researchers from the University of Toronto randomly assigned 132 first graders into one of four groups. Some received piano or drama lessons while others took chess lessons or joined science programs. At the end of the school year, the students' IQ was evaluated. Those who had taken piano lessons showed a 7 point increase in IQ. Those involved in the other programs showed only a 4¼ point increase in IQ. Researchers believe that the focused attention that learning music requires for extended periods is a major factor in the greater increase of IQ among the music students. They also suggest that the memorization required in a musical education also helps IQ. Further research into these and other factors will be the subject of long-term study.
Music is a gift from God, and the study of music has traditionally been considered an essential element of a good education. Modern research is showing us that this traditional approach to music has more wisdom than is offered by a purely materialistic approach to education.