Monthly Archives: April 2010

Mozart and His Little Effect.

This is another essay I have to write for my English Course hope you like it. As usual feedback is appreciated

After many years of research, psychologist Dr. Rausher and neurologist Dr. Shaw revealed to the unsuspecting world that Mozart’s music had positive effects on children, teenagers, and adults. Mozart’s Music is perfect for its phrases, periods, and movements result in balanced, nimble, and crystal-clear pieces which are recognized throughout the world; for instance, his Sonata for piano #24 and his Lacrimosa in his unfinished Requiem. These pieces, with their melodies, harmonies and counterpoints, significantly improve children’s motor skills and help them focus on their studies for a short period of time. Mozart left us with a beautiful legacy from which the human mind can benefit thanks to its perfect harmonies, logic, and genius.

“The Magic Flute,” “Don Giovanni,” “Cosí fan tutte” and “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” are examples of the prodigy that was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Whether improvising on the harpsichord or on the violin at the tender age of eight, Mozart wrote his first work of art- a symphony; when his father saw this, he dedicated his life to teaching his son music. Mozart played concerts through London and Europe when he was fifteen years old; powerful, humble, mesmerizing, and beautiful were his melodies that the great composers and musicians of the era called him a prodigy. Consequently, the critics craved for more and even though Mozart’s genius gave us pieces such as “Ave Verum Corpus,” one of his most recognized choral pieces; unfortunately, he died at age thirty-five when he was just finishing his Requiem, the Mass for the Dead. But what is this Mozart Effect people are talking about?

In 1993 in the University of California some human test subjects, 36 high school students, became part of the Mozart Effect experiment, in which after the heard Mozart’s Sonatas these students were given a standardized test. The result of this test showed an increase in the temporal spatial levels among other results. Dr. Tomatis, in 1997, wrote that whether or not his patients liked Mozart’s music, they were more relaxed and made them express themselves more easily and openly to him; thus his conclusion was that Mozart’s music has the ability to heal the patient’s heart and clear their brain. As a result of both Shaw’s and Tomatis publication, The Mozart Effect gained worldwide attention in a matter of minutes, for many teachers, professors, and parents adapted said effect onto their students and children respectively. This effect is lasts in periods of five to ten minutes.

The Mozart Effect on children is highly effective, especially with those students from kindergarten to third grade. My sister, a Second grade teacher, did a little experiment where she gave the first test of the semester with a “normal” ambiance (without music) and her students received average grades; however, on the second test she administrated a math test where the students heard Mozart’s Piano Sonata #21, the students who got a C or C+ on their first test received a B, B+, or A on their second test. From that day on my sister, Mrs. Clavell, administers all of her tests with classical music. Parents and teachers alike misunderstand the concept of the Mozart Effect, for they believe that if they don’t have Mozart’s music, the effect won’t work and they are sadly mistaken; for example, you can use Beethoven, Vivaldi, or Pachelbel’s Canon and still observe the same results. Children, who are exposed to this kind of music, as commented before, improve their IQ, focus, and motor skills.

The Mozart Effect is an area that unites pedagogy, parenting, music, and psychology. Mozart is one of the greatest composers of our time, for his nimble, humble, and mesmerizing melodies that captivate our hearts and clearly our brains. Mozart and his effect clearly has had a positive impact on us; hence the studies continue to grow and the testimonials of parents and teachers alike of how this effect works. So greatly is the impact of this effect that Disney has used this effect in marketing, with its most popular infant and toddler merchandise called “Baby Einstein.” These DVDs and CDs use classical music with colorful stories and toys to capture toddlers’ attention and with games they start to recognize musical patterns, rhythms, vowels, and words. Mozart shall live on in our lives and in many years to come, new scientists and musicologists will still try to unlock the mystery behind Mozart’s music.

Time traveling with music

This is one of the many assignments I have done this semester in my English 224: Grammar and English Writing with our Professor Dr. Ana Montero. She is wicked awesome and truly knows her grammar and English history. What can I say… she has a PhD in LINGUISTICS. I hope you like it. Its supposed to be an Classification Essay and I wrote about people memories and places I have been at. Feedback is wonderful as usual.

How can a song from a certain decade make you remember an experience or feeling from your past? Why do these songs, through their lyrics or harmonies, stay on society’s mind and are guarded with such care? Maybe it’s because they have influenced your decision-making or train of thought on a particular subject. The songs we listened in class made me reflect on places I have visited, the people I have met, and some of the best memories of my life.

When I heard “Let’s twist again” by Checker it reminded me of “Surfing USA” by the Beach boys, and for a moment, I re-lived the vacation I had with my family in Culebra, and all the music I heard on the beach. When we went to Flamenco beach, one of the songs we heard was “It’s my party” by L. Gore which everybody was chatting about the “good old days” and how the world’s situation was at that time. Looking back on this vacation, I remember the peace, tranquility, and fondness I had at night which reminds me of “Can’t take my eyes of you” by F. Valli & 4 Seasons which makes me want to go Culebra again.

After the audio excerpts, I automatically thought of three people in my life who are part of the university choir: Sheila Cruz, Aledra Rodriguez, and Yaletza Peralta. You may ask yourself “why”? The answer is because they are fans of the following songs “Bad Girls” by D. Summer, “Mama Mia” by ABBA, and “The way you look tonight” by T. Bennet. Since they know these lyrics by heart at any given moment on any given day, they will (by a force of unknown magic) harmonize these songs in such a creative way that after five minutes you’ve experienced these songs with a whole new arrangement.

“Killing me softly” completely re-awoke some of the best memories in my life. When I started to study music seven years ago; in my first semester my choir teacher gave me a solo, and I felt just like R. Flack.On the day I had to sing, I thought it was going to be awful, but it went surprisingly went very well. All of those feelings of wanting to die with what felt like a lead ball in my stomach paid off because the song sounded well, and everybody liked it. Also “Un-break my heart” reminded me of the time in my senior year when I had to choose between singing and playing in my last concert in the Institute or going to my high school graduation; this was the hardest decision I had to make in my 20 years on this Earth. After careful consideration, I chose to go to my high school graduation because my Alma Mater is very important for me, for it is where I have spent 14 or more years. And I knew it would not be the last concert I would participate in my life. Furthermore, I won’t forget during that senior year when I directed the String Ensemble on the last activity of the semester. That experience made me realize what I wanted to do with my life: to conduct, direct and compose for Ensembles and choirs.

Places, people, and memories are some of the things you will carry in your life forever. Based on that premise is what an individual must have in mind every day. All of the experiences we will have in your life, for better or worse, will teach you a lesson in which you must try to practice each day. Whether it’s classical or popular music, music will consequently make you remember your past experiences and thus make you reflect in life itself.


Sorry I haven’t posted in a while I’ve been very busy with a lot of college work. The life of a music major is not easy specially when the juries/recitals/concerts are near. Ill post in this week, I hope. God bless and stay tuned!

%d bloggers like this: