You may have heard of what is commonly called “The Mozart Effect.” Since the original study of music and its effects on memory and intelligence published by scientists from the University of California at Irvine in 1993, there have been numerous studies done on how memory, music, and intelligence correlate with each other. It has been common knowledge since then that classical music and memory have a connection, but we have never fully understood the reasoning behind how classical music actually improves one’s memory.
The connection between music and memory lies within the part of the brain that handles spatial abilities. When your brain processes music, especially classical music that does not involve words or lyrics, it uses the exact same pathways through the brain as the processes involved in utilizing your spatial abilities, such as taking the time to put together a jigsaw puzzle or recognizing shapes.
Studies, however, have not shown specific information regarding how long the effects of classical music and memory improvement last. Some studies have shown that the memory benefits only last about 10-15 minutes after the exposure to Mozart’s music, while others show memory improvement lasting a few days afterwards. The Mozart Effect has been studied with testers listening to classical music before, after, and during spatial ability tests.
Although some of the studies show conflicting results, the fact that classical music could improve your memory is definitely something to consider. Whether it’s for you, your kids, or even your baby, exposure to classical music can be nothing but a positive change for you and your family.
I had tried listening to Spanish words with classical music background in the car. Could not hear the actual words because of the music so I ditched the cassette tapes. So I became a mnenomics expert instead, and now know over 40K spanish words and phrases.
There may be a strong connection to memory and the melody itself, regardless of the genre of music. The melody may bring back a very specific memory or moment in one’s past – even it the background music/chords/instruments were removed and only the melody remained.
A friend of mine asked if I had remembered a day from 21 years ago, and I could remember two exact songs that we listened to in the car that day! I could almost re-live those few hours from long ago, just by hearing those two songs again today.