There are many myths in the world today, both proven and unproven. The most common of myths are generated by parents or grandparents to keep the children disciplined or in line. Myths tend to stem from make believe stories too, often believed by the youngest of children, or simply those who are too naive to see the truth. Music also holds different types of myth. There myths and legends about haunted guitars, or myths about famous music artists dying at roughly the same age, such as Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimmi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and the very latest artist to add to the list, Amy Winehouse. They all died at the same age of 27, and they were all famous for being hugely talented with lives cut tragically short. There are also other myths involving music, such as music will help you become smarter.
Music influences a lot of our emotions, especially the basic emotions of sadness, happiness and anger. Happiness can be increased through listening to upbeat and happier songs. While listening to slower sadder songs can often make you cry, or cry harder as the case may be. Anger is also an emotion that can be enhanced through music. One of the most common forms of music that enhances this is rock or metal music. Rock can be said to be the father of metal music, where metal was formed from rock itself. Metal is harder, but both metal and rock can ignite or add fuel to one’s anger, or release it as the case may be. All these emotions however prove one thing about music, it is a great stress reliever. However, it is almost far fetched for some to believe that music can enhance one’s intelligence. Or, is it?
The Mozart Effect is an activity done to increase human intelligence. It is called Mozart Effect because the music used for this test is Mozart’s Sonata. Most of Mozart Effect research has been conducted on college undergraduates and has statistically been proven to increase their IQ levels to 8-9 points with the increase lasting for 10-15 minutes after listening for 10 minutes. Some news even claimed that Mozart’s music improves a baby’s intelligence. Although there are no tests conducted yet which prove that music influences an infant’s intelligence. Studies have shown that music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. Another study reported that music lessons for kids help make their minds sharper as they grow and mature.
For the unborn, there are also studies showing the ability of a fetus to hear sounds while in utero. Babies respond with an increase in heart rate and other physiologic indicators. Many studies have reported that a positive sign the fetus has been stimulated by music is indicated by a change in heart rate. The exposure to music in the prenatal period increases attention of newborns, more sound imitation and earlier vocalization. The fetus hears its mother’s voice mostly, as well as it’s mother’s breathing and her other internal sounds. This is why new born babies prefer to hear its mother’s voice because a mother’s voice is literally music to a child’s ears. Thus, singing along with music while your child is yet unborn will have some positive benefits at birth.
Some scientist don’t agree with the theory that an increase in heart rate signals a positive response in the fetus. It could be that the increase in heart rate of a fetus signals that a baby is not comfortable with the sound. Of course not all kinds of music can be played for an infant. The baby does respond to what he or she hears. Expectant mothers should carefully choose which music her baby should hear. Classical music and nature sounds could be soothing for the baby while loud ones may not be as pleasing.
Again, there is still no concrete proof that listening to music definitely enhances the fetuses intelligence. However, classical music stimulates different areas of the brain, which stimulates better connections in the brain. The hypothesis says that the increase in connectors will result in enhanced memory. Multiple studies have shown that babies recognize the sounds or music they hear during pregnancy. It is very important that the mother is relaxed and comfortable as the baby is affected by the mother’s emotions. Soothing music helps the mother and the baby to relax, while loud music disturbs the mother and startles the baby.
What are some good musical choices for your unborn child? Choose soothing classical, light rock, blues or any other genera you truly enjoy. The choice is yours, but be aware that your unborn child very well may be listening!