What Exactly is The Mozart Effect?

Let’s first discuss what it is not.

Contrary to popular belief, The Mozart Effect does not suggest listening to classical music will not raise your overall intelligence.

In short, the term Mozart Effect came from a science research report in 1993 named “Music & Spatial Task Performance” published by researchers at the University of California, Irvine where they exposed a handful of test candidates a specific Mozart Sonata K448 while performing IQ tests.

In these findings they showed that the candidates who were exposed to K448 were able to outperform those that did not listen to the music in the general intelligence exams. More specifically, the subjects showed significantly better spatial reasoning skills (not enhanced overall intelligence) for 10 -15 minutes, but did not extend beyond that time.

Listen to Mozart’s Sonata K 448!

After this research was released, there was criticism based on the idea that the Mozart Sonata produced such findings because the people appreciated and enjoyed the music and the results would have not been the same if the test subjects didn’t like or enjoy the music.

To negate this claim, animal experiments were done where separate groups of rats were exposed to either Mozart’s sonata K448, another composer (Philip Glass), white noise or to silence, first in utero and then after birth for 60 days and then tested how quickly they could get exit a maze. The Mozart group completed the maze test much more quickly and with less errors than the other three groups thereby proving enjoying the music was not the basis of the improvement.

Once industries enlightened to these findings, there was an explosion of products and services on the market telling consumers how they could help raise their intelligence (or their children’s) by listening to classical music.  That’s the reason so many people today are misinformed.


But to our benefit, the research also sparked extensive research into music and the effects on the brain, which have shown us significant intelligence boosts from studying and learning to play instruments.

Now that you have a full understanding of the Mozart Effect – the rest of this course will teach you exactly how to increase intelligence increases through the playing of music and provide you with all the evidence from research that is giving us this amazing insight.


For more on the Mozart Effect: