BBC iWonder Collaboration

image of MozartA long-standing question in the field of music psychology is whether the presence of music in our lives can help to improve our general mental abilities.

The debate surrounding music and mind was highlighted by the wide-scale media interest in the so-called “Mozart Effect”. The source of the Mozart Effect was a single scientific paper that reported a small increase in temporary IQ performance following 10-minutes exposure to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos (K448).

Was this study right? Can listening to Mozart make us smarter? How else might we explain the finding?

The newest BBC iWonder project focuses on answering these questions. Dr. Victoria Williamson, Vice Chancellor’s Fellow for Music, worked as a consultant on the project alongside BBC editor Paul Adams and broadcaster Suzy Klein. Together they have produced an easy to read guide on classical music and the mind.

The new iWonder guide reviews the evidence surrounding the Mozart Effect. It also looks at other related questions such as whether learning how to perform music (as compared to just listening) can have general positive effects on brain development.

Link to the BBC iWonder Guide:

Link to information on the Mozart Effect: