Did your mother play Mozart music for you when you were a child? Have you ever wondered if listening to Mozart can actually raise a child’s IQ? Studies on what has been dubbed the “Mozart effect” have shown extremely mixed results. The truth is that there is not enough scientific evidence to determine if listening to classical music increases intelligence. However, there is, evidence that listening to music can improve our stress levels.
Image Source: Tatjana Kaufmann
In fact, a study published in November of 2014 investigated on the effects of music on the overall quality of life of hospitalized patients. Specifically, a live harp player performed for patients who were hospitalized for at least three days and had a self-reported low quality of life (a score of three on the Likert Scale where zero is the worst possible quality of life and five is the best). A questionnaire was used to collect “quality of life” measurements such as pain, anxiety, sadness, and fatigue, as well as physiological signs like blood pressure. The study randomly separated ninety-two patients into two groups. Group 1 received a harp performance on Day 1 of the study followed by 24 hours of standard hospital care, and Group 2 received 24 hours of standard hospital care followed by a harp performance.
The study found that 24 hours after the music performance, both heart rate and several quality of life measures had improved in 72% of the patients. While there are limitations to this study,
While music may not be able to increase our IQ’s, it can help hospitalized patients improve their emotional and physical well-being. Perhaps someday, music can feasibly be incorporated into hospital settings to improve overall quality of life. Until then, we should all incorporate a little music into our lives.
Feature Image Source: Music by Brandon Giesbrecht