(Discovery) For all the parents hoping that classical music CDs and music classes will give their kids an intellectual leg up, Harvard researchers have some bad news: Mozart won’t boost your IQ.
Two studies published today in the journal PLOS ONE bust the myth. In the first, researchers reviewed dozens of studies, and found just one that used randomized trials and showed a positive link between music and IQ. Even then, the effect was so tiny — 2.7 points on an IQ test after one year of music lessons — that it barely registered as statistically significant.
“More than 80 percent of American adults think that music improves children’s grades or intelligence,” said researcher Samuel Mehr, a Harvard Graduate School of Education doctoral student. “Even in the scientific community, there’s a general belief that music is important for these extrinsic reasons — but there is very little evidence supporting the idea that music classes enhance children’s cognitive development.”