- Controlling Energy
- Harnessing Emotions
- Inquisitive Minds
My first question is, who decided which particular piece of music improved which functions? Was there a control group of babies who were given concentration and memory tasks while listening to Vanilla Ice or Clay Aiken? I'm not sure I want to know what the 'confidence' control group had to listen to. And it occurs to me that if you want a child to 'harness emotions' or 'control energy' you'd give him something that would stir up a mosh pit. Get those emotions all harnessed in a big ol' circle. You can even surround it with baby fencing to give them the total concert experience. And since they lack the balance and muscle tone to crowd surf you don't have to worry about anyone getting dropped on his head.
Don't get me wrong. I wish this worked. More so, I wish it worked for adults. If only music could be piped into public places that would encourage people to balance budgets, to pick up litter, maybe a 'Mozart for Considerate Behavior'. No more leaving a mouthful of scorched coffee in the office pot or two squares of toilet paper on the roll. Amid the swell of strings and the silvery piping of flutes people would share taxicabs, use phrases like, "Please," "After you," and "Thank you." Bloodless coups could be a mere Violin Concerto in D Major away.
What role has music played in my development into a passable-if-satisfactory human? I developed a fondness for classical music in my teens courtesy of WFLN, the now-defunct classical station in Philadelphia. Far too late to hone my hormone-addled brain. My earliest music memories are more of the Top 40 radio variety. I was one of those kids that sang songs word for word LONG before I had any understanding whatsoever of WHAT I was singing about. Here are a few of my formative 'concertos'. Do treat yourself to the videos, there are many golden 'What the...." moments here.
Believe it; I was 'git cha git cha ya ya da da'-ing all the way to afternoon Kindergarten. I figured out what this song was talking about roughly 23 years later. I have no explanation for the outfits. I guess my Mozart effect lesson here was, er, Effective Merchandising'.
My mother tells me I knew every word to this song when I was four. The only explanation I can offer is that it was probably on the radio ten times a day. It mentioned trains and I always associated it with my father's commute into Philadelphia for his manager job at Grant's. Mozart effect lesson: Dealing with 'The Man'.
This is a song I associate with riding in our Camaro in the summer, my legs sticking to the back seat (which was probably good since my feet didn't touch the floor and I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. You have to dig this video--I suspect the set designer for the Smothers Brothers was doing some serious acid. Mozart effect lesson: Respecting Gravity.
This is one of those songs that was just creepy. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was about, it just gave me a weird feeling when I heard it on my bedside radio late at night. Staring at the luminous dial I imagined all sorts of things, some probably darker than the song's intent. I also thought Helen Reddy was awesome. Don't judge me. Mozart effect lesson: If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit. (I think.)
Now if I could just find that Mozart for Housecleaning and Organization album.....I'll be all set.