Advantages of Classical Music Training
We have heard a lot in the news lately about people cheating on college entrance exams. One thing that has not been mentioned in all of the reporting is a way to improve one’s score. I would like to suggest a proven way to score better. It has been shown that one of the advantages of classical music training is higher scores on college entrance exams. Students with classical music training score an average of 25% higher on their exams. They do that without cheating.
What the studies show
It was about twenty-five years ago when Cal-Tec did their study on the Mozart effect. The study took a controlled group of students with varying backgrounds and intellectual levels. The testers divided the groups evenly into two groups. They gave each group a standard IQ test and recorded the results.
Then one group was exposed to listening to twenty minutes of “rock” music. The other group listened to several Mozart compositions for the same amount of time. Right after listening to the music, each group was given a standardized IQ test, again. To the surprise of the testers, the “rock” listeners test scores declined by more than 5%. The Mozart listeners had an increase of 7% in their IQ scores.
Just to make sure it was not a fluke, they switched the music of the groups. This time the first group listened to the Mozart music. The second group heard the “rock” music. Each was then given the IQ test again. To the shock of the testers, the first group gained back their IQ score. They not only returned to their normal but gained over 5% above their average before the experiment score. The second group, which had before gained on their score, lost over 7% on their average IQ score.
That test has been repeated many times since the Cal-Tec experiment. My younger son conducted that controlled test for a high school science fair project. He did it as a double-blind test. The groups did not know each other, nor did the people of the groups know each other. They did not know beforehand what the music was nor the purpose of listening to it. The test they took was not presented as an IQ test.
When the test was completed I was truly impressed. His results were amazingly close to those of the Cal-Tec experiment. The variance was only one percentage point, plus or minus. He conducted the test three times with three different groups, just to be sure.
The study of classical music
Throughout modern history, many of the great intellects have been associated with classical music. They either were musicians to one degree or another or lovers of classical music. Before technology and “eye candy” were the motivators, learned people studied music. It was not uncommon for educated people to have knowledge of a musical instrument. Those who did not play an instrument enjoyed singing.
In the 18th and 19th centuries of western civilization, the church played an important role in its history. A great tool of the church was the music that it produced. Great music became a tool for spreading the Gospel. The leaders in the church realized the power of music in presenting the scripture. Many of the greatest works of classical music were done as religious works.
From the 17th to the 19th century the banner of classical music was carried by the church. Even today, much of the great classical music is based on Biblical things. The church has born the banner of classical music for almost three centuries. Unfortunately, it seems to be failing in that mission these days.
Advantages of classical music
We have shown above one of the advantages of classical music. It actually stimulates the intellect of the person who participates in it. Just listening for 20 minutes caused a temporary increase in the IQ of the listeners. (It should be noted that the increase was only temporary. But further studies showed that by consistently listening to classical music the IQ is raised permanently.)
Long term studies have shown that students who play a musical instrument in a classical situation do better in school. Singing in an organized choir brings the same effect.
An interesting note
It is interesting to note that those who choose to pursue the “rock”, are less likely to be intellectually minded. Other studies have shown that those who like “rock” music tend to score lower grades in their studies.
It would seem the logical thing would be to study classical music in every level of education. It is not that everyone should play an instrument or sing in a choir. But, everyone can listen. If our society really wanted to thrive we should be promoting the advantages of classical music.
Other benefits of classical music
We have been speaking of the intellectual benefits of classical music. But, those are not the only benefits of classical music. There are health benefits that come with listening and participating in classical music.
Classical music is the antithesis of “rock” music. Rock music tends to agitate and bring imbalance. It is associated with the use of drugs. The producers of rock music are not only users of drugs but promoters of its use. Drugs used properly can be a blessing. But those who promote rock music are not promoters of blessing.
Classical music, just because it is classical does not make it good. It, too, must be judged by its fruit. Most classical music is based on structure. It has a purpose and a goal in mind. It is well grounded in physics and logic. It does not seek to manipulate the mind, but rather to inspire or challenge one’s intellect.
The goal of classical music is not to manipulate the mind by mantra but to inspire and challenge. It may be calming or a call to action. Some may relax or renew. Other classical music may be just for enjoyment or fun.
The test of time
Classical music stands the test of time. It is always relevant and always new. Each new generation can receive knowledge and inspiration from it.
There are many more benefits to be gained by listening and participating in classical music. But, just these few should cause our society to desire more emphasis on it. Even if this were all, it would be worth emphasizing classical music as a must in our educational curriculum.
I encourage you to begin listening to good classical music. If you can, participate in presenting good music. If you sing in a church choir, encourage the director to do great music. For those who have children, involve them in a choir or a school band.
If you hope for your children to go to college, the best preparation is learning classical music. It will cause them to learn and achieve more in school. Those who play a band instrument can usually get a scholarship to college. Learning and or listening to classical music is one of the least expensive but best investments made in your children.
Stand up and be counted
We have far too long taken the path of least resistance and let the world determine our musical diet. It has led us down the path of intellectual atrophy. It is time to stand up and be counted.
The reason for my website: tomharveybaritone.com, is to offer you and others an opportunity to study classical music. If you have a voice, you can sing. I would love to teach you how to sing and sing well.
Singing classical music will bring you more joy than you can imagine. Check out some of our teachings at this site.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you!