As a long-time music player, I have no difficulty listening to classical music. I absolutely appreciate classical authors, still, it’s not much of a surprise that I can’t digest Mozart! To clarify it, the same principle applies when you were required to read the school curriculum: to some extent, you can understand it (or you thought you understood it!), but it’s far from taking your understanding to something above sheer necessity. To simply put, you make enough efforts to understand all the layers of meaning of the piece, but after all, you are not in love with it. I’m clueless whether Mozart’s music makes me any smarter, as I doze off after 1 hour of listening to Mozart. Oops, blame it on my endurance, yours may be a bit (or much) different!
The so-called myth about creativity improvement with Mozart music has been debunked.
The Mozart effect rose to cultural prominence in 1993 when researchers at the University of California, Irvine found a rising score in spatial-reasoning section of IQ tests among children who’d listened to classical music. The less than 15 minutes of Mozart play was believed to have so tremendous effect on general intelligence that Georgia Governor Zell Miller in 1998 promised over $100,000 in funding per year to provide every child in the state with a recording of classical music.
A famous person of this “Mozart effect” practice is Albert Einstein. Einstein admitted that Mozart helped his creativity flowing because classical music and creativity have been shown to be a good match in tapping into your creativity.
That’s how the notion that simply listening to music could make someone smarter became firmly embedded in the public imagination. So does that mean you too, also have to emerge yourself in Mozart’s music to get your creative juices flowing?
I guess not.
A year ago, I came across a performance with the shakuhachi and koto playing “Telephone” by Lady Gaga. I can’t state how many ideas it sparks in my mind while I was working on my thesis. I started falling in love with the song, which I thought was nothing but the repetitive meaningless words (no offense, but the original Lady Gaga is just not my cup of tea). Nevertheless, I have to confess that the performance can even measure up to my expectation for a classical music concert: the whole-hearted engagement.
Different kinds of music have different effects on different people. The recommended music playlist that spurs the creativity of a certain person may not apply to you. Even with the same type of music, no person adhere it the entirely same way, so why bother if you can’t listen to Mozart?
The answer is diversity. That’s why heavy metal and nightwish exist beside pop ballad. That’s why the rock-and-roll singer driven by desires and demons serves your upwelling rebel well, but that is also why the cheesy story–telling in country music appeals to you.
So every time you wish to kickstart your creativity, choose the music that stimulates you. While the Mozart effect remains unproven, choose something that used to work for your daily creative practice in the past. Here’s some suggestions if you’re keen on knowing more:
- Mood shuffle music websites: https://www.phuongvu.me/website-nghe-nhac-khong-the-bo-qua/
- David Burkus on The myth of Creativity