Contact Us
Mental Health
Financial advice
Youth Matters
Techno Corner
Know of any youth who have won an award or have a recent accomplishment? Send in your news on youth to Shephali J. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647 or e-mail Be sure to include school name, grade and age.
Youth Highlight         Send your youth highlight

By Teesta Sullivan

The last several years has seen much attention given to what is commonly called “The Mozart Effect.” This premise of the theory seems to be that young children, when exposed to Mozart, can increase their developmental potential, most specifically as related to math and sciences.

Teesta Sullivan
Gordon Shaw, a neurobiologist, was a part of the initial scientific studies that linked memory enhancement with Mozart’s music. He, and Frances Rauscher, a cognitive development expert – who also happened to be a former concert cellist – conducted a series of experiments to measure the effects of listening to Mozart’s music.

One of their experiments involved separating a number of preschoolers into three groups. One group received singing lessons and private piano lessons. A second group got private computer training. A third group did not receive training in either music or computers. The results of their study found that the children who received piano lessons performed 34 percent higher on tests that measured their spatial-temporal ability than the others.

Brain researchers now know that children are born with certain neural patterns in their brains, and various experiences can stimulate those connections. Shaw believes that certain types of sounds, or music, can stimulate the region of the brain that control spatial-temporal reasoning. Engineering, advanced math, and architecture are areas of expertise that rely on strong spatial-temporal reasoning skills. Thus, Shaw and his colleagues see music as “a window to higher brain function.”

It should be noted that there are critics of this theory. Some researchers suggest that any academic improvements made after a child learns to play a musical instrument may have more to do with the discipline, concentration and creative- learning strategies involved with learning an instrument, than the act of learning it alone.

There is much research being conducted on the effects of music on humans in general. One study out of Colorado has followed the effects of music on patients who suffered from strokes, and individuals afflicted with Parkinson’s disease. Some of these patients become unsteady on their feet, and were unable to walk smoothly, as a result of their disease. Doctors found that when patients were given music to walk to, their gait improved. It seems that the patients began to unconsciously follow the rhythm in the music, thus allowing their movements to follow a more consistent pattern. Patients treated with both music and gait training were able to walk evenly more quickly than those treated with gait training alone.

There are many things we can do, as parents, to give our children the gift of music. Play different types of music for your children. Sing songs; encourage your children to sing along. Even babies enjoy making sounds along with music. Most toddlers love dancing. You can encourage them to add movements to various types of music. Let them dance and move to the rhythms of different beats. Play music from different countries.

As your child grows older you can explore music and feelings. How do different types of music make him or her feel? What instruments have high tones? Which ones have lower tones. Expose your children to the different sounds of various cultures. How does an African tribal beat differ from a Scottish jig?

A child’s brain can develop to its best potential only if it is exposed to necessary enrichment experiences during their critical periods of development. The jury may still be out on the effects of music on future genius; however, I would argue that you should teach your children music, if for no other reason than that given by Plato hundreds of years ago.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and lends to all that is good and just and beautiful.” – Plato

Teesta Sullivan has a JD, a MSH and B.A. in Psychology. She is the area developer for FasTracKids and also president of Legendary Beginnings Inc., an authorized licensee of FasTracKids. She can be reached at (813) 792-0077.

Know of any youth who have won an award or have a recent accomplishment? Send in your news on youth to Shephali J. Rele, Khaas Baat, 18313 Cypress Stand Circle, Tampa, FL 33647 or e-mail Be sure to include school name, grade and age.

Contact Information
The Editor:
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright © 2004 Khaas Baat.

Anything that appears in Khaas Baat cannot be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Khaas Baat contributors are their own and do not reflect the publisher's opinion.

Khaas Baat reserves the right to edit and/or reject any advertising. Khaas Baat is not responsible for errors in advertising or for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. Khaas Baat is published by Khaas Baat Communications.