Many of us have heard that adage music makes you smarter, but is it actually true? If so how does it do this and what should we be listening to?

One such study in PubMed investigated this concept and concluded that listening to music can influence one’s verbal IQ1. Which then begs the question what does a verbal IQ score actually measure? This is being able to understand verbal commands, understanding the meaning of spoken or written information, recalling and listening to spoken information, paying attention to verbal directions, using verbal reasoning2,3.

These tools are extremely helpful for students to be successful in school. A child who can follow simple instructions from a teacher will be able to keep up at a faster rate3.

Is any music appropriate or are specific artists and music more profound than others? Many studies have shown that Mozart, specifically his double piano sonata K448 has shown an effect on spatial behavior tasks and even epilepsy4. The two Bach composers JC Bach and JS Bach show an effect on spatial behavior as well as Yanni4. More minimalist music such as Philip Glass or old time pop music did not show any observed enhancement of spatial temporal tests4.

More studies are needed at this time, but the results so far are quite promising and even if Mozart doesn’t make you smarter at least it’s nice to listen to.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30419066 Opens in new window
  2. https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-0-387-79948-3_1072 Opens in new window
  3. https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-is-verbal-intelligence-2162167 Opens in new window
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1281386/ Opens in new window