Increased brain power could be used for things like remembering what’s on your grocery list, solving complex math problems, and most importantly, winning at escape room games 😊. At Room To Escape, we wanted to find out whether music could make people smarter. We did a little research and came up with the following:
- Playing Music – Learning an instrument is no small task, but it’s one that pays-off in the intelligence department. Studies show that learning to play music affects the brain in a way similar to learning a new language. The publication Psychology Today reported on a 2014 study that linked musical ability to executive-level cognitive functioning. In other words, people who learn to play an instrument are better-equipped to process complicated information and to make decisions.
- Listening to Music (a.k.a. The Mozart Effect): Scientific study on the effect of music on the brain is a relatively new phenomenon. The term “Mozart Effect” was coined by a group of researchers in the early 1990s. While many have assumed that playing an instrument is good for cognitive development, it wasn’t until 1988 that computer models of brain activity allowed researchers to map the effects of music on neural pathways.
Then, in 1993, researchers Rauscher and Ky published a study in the journal Nature that linked classical music listening to an increase in cognitive activity (October 14, 1993 issue). The cognitive effect, and possible increase in I.Q. was temporary, lasting approximately 15 minutes after the music stopped. The classical piece used in the study was Mozart’s Sonata in D major for Two Pianos, hence the term “Mozart Effect.”
Can music make you smarter? The research is still young and we still have a lot to learn about how music affects brain development. Early studies look promising, though, so play and listen to your heart’s content. Your brain might just thank you for it!