The Mozart Effect

by Mary Mageau -

The maternity ward in Kosice-Saca Hospital in eastern Slovakia, has discovered the perfect way to ensure harmony among its new arrivals – by playing them the music of Mozart.

Lined up in their cots the infants are a picture of total contentment. Headphones are connected five times a day to the babies as the staff discovered that music helps newborns get over the trauma of birth. 

The music therapy begins five hours after delivery and when the babies hear classical music they fall asleep or lie quietly. Music keeps them healthy and relaxed. Of recent times this new phenomenon called the Mozart Effect has surfaced. 

The Mozart Effect is an inclusive term signifying the transformational powers of music for health, education and well-being. 

It represents the general use of music to reduce stress, depression and anxiety and to induce relaxation and sleep.

Research with Mozart’s music began in France during the late 1950s when Dr Alfred Tomatis began his experiments in auditory stimulation for children with speech and learning disorders. 

Mozart’s music has been sequenced by Dr Tomatis for different activities: high frequencies for stimulating the auditory system and slower tempo works for relaxation. He found that Mozart’s structural patterning and subtle emotional expression helped to clarify time/space perception. 

The rhythmic qualities of Mozart’s pieces mimic rhythmic cycles in the brain. Mozart’s music is not overly stimulating and his classical forms such as the rondo, sonata and variation present basic ways in which the brain becomes familiar with the development of simple ideas.

Dr Georgi Lozanov, a renowned Bulgarian psychologist, developed a method of teaching foreign languages that used Baroque music with a beat pattern of about 60 beats per minute.

While listening to this music, students increased their normal retention of vocabulary and phrases. Dr Lozanov proved conclusively that by using certain Baroque musical pieces, foreign languages could be mastered with 85% effectiveness in thirty days. 

This occurred because students using Mozart and works by Vivaldi, Handel and Bach (recorded at 60 beats per minute) felt calmer, could study longer and indicated a higher retention rate overall. 

Why was this so? 

These special pieces recorded at just the right tempo activated the right and left brain hemispheres. Music activated the right brain and the words one was reading and saying aloud activated the left brain.

When the body hears only a few beats per second of Baroque music the heart rate and pulse immediately relax to the beat. 

While one is in a relaxed and alert state the mind can focus and concentrate more easily. During heavy mental work our pulse and blood pressure rises and it often becomes more difficult to concentrate in this physiological state. 

Listening to Baroque and Mozart pieces as well as Gregorian Chant, cool jazz, selected new age pieces and some popular music will automatically reduce your blood pressure and pulse rate, while increasing your learning ability at the same time. This also becomes more effective when the volume level is tuned in the low to medium range.

Why not experiment yourself with the Mozart Effect? 

Listed below are several attractive and beneficial CDs to help you get started. While experiencing the healthful effects of this music you will also reap the added bonus of its sheer aesthetic enjoyment. All of it is just so beautiful.

Once you learn when your mind needs stimulation or relaxation you can develop a variety of ways to use the music to your best advantage. So relax, dream, meditate and enjoy the healing powers of music.

• ‘Music for the Mozart Effect” CD volume I is entitled, 'Heal the Mind'
“Music for the Mozart Effect” CD volume II is entitled, 'Heal the Body'

About Author: Mary Mageau Mary Mageau is an Australian spiritual teacher and author. In her desire to share this empowering practice she has given talks and presented courses in meditation and spiritual awakening throughout southeast Queensland. Mary’s courses all focus on merging these two great meditation traditions - the contemplative paths of the West, with the classical meditation practices of the East.

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