Author comments: Keeping Mozart in Mind by Gordon L. Shaw, Ph.D. (Academic Press, 2000) . . . [EDP] (C)
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 12:15:31 -0700
Submitted by: Gordon L. Shaw, Ph.D. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[See: http://www.MINDinst.org ]
Keeping Mozart in Mind by Gordon L. Shaw, Ph.D.
M.I.N.D. Institute/University of California, Irvine
from Academic Press, San Diego 2000
Music can entertain, motivate, inspire and calm. Now, years of innovative
scientific research have proven that music can enhance how we can think and
reason. Music can show us how the brain works and how thought and reason
can be enhanced by music. From the discovery of the Mozart effect by the
author Dr. Gordon Shaw, we now stand at the threshold of using music to
revolutionize math education.
The goal of the author is to allow all children to learn difficult math in
order to prepare them better for the modern, technologically driven world.
The latest study using Dr. Shaw's new program showed that inner-city 2nd
graders dramatically increased their standardized math scores and were
performing at the same level on advanced math concepts as 4th graders from
a higher socio-economic school!
Spatial-temporal reasoning involves transforming and comparing mental
images in space and time, crucial in playing chess, doing math and, more
recently, in computer operation. Children can grasp the math concepts more
readily with spatial-temporal reasoning than by language-based math that
currently dominates school programs. Dr. Matthew Peterson has developed
the ingenious S.T.A.R. software, which exploits spatial-temporal operations
that are innate to our structured brain.
Seminal work 12 years ago by Drs. Xiaodan Leng and Shaw showed how the
brain processes information using spatial-temporal patterns similar to
those found in music. Stimulating the mind with particular types of music
would be expected to encourage and augment the brain's ability to process
and solve spatial-temporal problems. This hypothesis led to breakthrough
Mozart listening experiments include:
1) College students after listening the Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos
in D Major showed subsequent enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning.
These results by Dr. Frances Rauscher and Shaw received an enormous amount
of attention in 1993 and were called the Mozart effect by the media.
2) Alzheimer patients had enhanced short-term spatial-temporal
reasoning after listening to the Mozart Sonata.
3) Epilepsy patients had reduced seizure activity when the Mozart
Sonata was played to them.
4) Brain imaging studies showed very strikingly increased brain
activity when exposed to the Mozart Sonata. This is the first evidence for
the neurophysiological basis of the Mozart effect
Piano keyboard training experiments:
1) Three-year-olds who received piano keyboard lessons for six months
improved dramatically from the 50th percentile to the 85th percentile on an
age standardized spatial-temporal reasoning task.
2) Inner-city 2nd graders given piano keyboard training and S.T.A.R.
training scored significantly higher on proportional math and fractions
than children given control training.
This research led to the author's development of a Music Spatial-Temporal
Math Program with:
1) Piano keyboard training which enhances the child's innate cortical
ability to solve spatial-temporal tasks;
2) S.T.A.R. software which allows the child to learn difficult math
concepts using spatial-temporal reasoning;
3) Math Integration which bridges the spatial-temporal approach to the
standard language based math.
After 8 months of the Program presented in the book, inner-city 2nd graders
strikingly increased their average on the national Stanford 9 math scores
and were performing at the same level on advanced math concepts as 4th
graders from a higher socio-economic school. This dramatic finding found
after publication of the book provides a major benchmark for future work.
The years of research are now available in this acclaimed book. Gordon
Shaw presents the results leading to the Mozart effect, but even more
importantly, the reasons for bringing about a revolution in math education
fueled by music training.
Included in the book is the actual piece of music that has generated the
Mozart effect as well as an enhanced version of the S.T.A.R. software used
in the Programs studies suitable for children of all ages from 4 to 94
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