Classical Music Increases Performance

From a study by R. G. Thompson, C. J. A. Moulin, S. Hayre, and R. W. Jones:

Exposure to some music, in particular classical music, has been reported to produce transient increases in cognitive performance. The authors investigated the effect of listening to an excerpt of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on category fluency in healthy older adult controls and Alzheimer’s disease patients. In a counterbalanced repeated-measure design, participants completed two, 1-min category fluency tasks whilst listening to an excerpt of Vivaldi and two, 1-min category fluency tasks without music. The authors report a positive effect of music on category fluency, with performance in the music condition exceeding performance without music in both the healthy older adult control participants and the Alzheimer’s disease patients. In keeping with previous reports, the authors conclude that music enhances attentional processes, and that this can be demonstrated in Alzheimer’s disease.

The effects reported on task processing appear to hold true even if the person doing the task has Alzheimer’s. Therefore it seems likely that playing classical music to people with Alzheimer’s may improve at least their short-term task performance, whether that be dressing themselves, making their beds, or any other short-term task. Although only one-minute tasks were studied, it’s likely that it would help on the performance of longer tasks, as well. So for those of you dealing with elderly people, playing classical music to them might enable them to do more things for themselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Material is copyrighted and may not be rewritten, copied, or republished in any form without explicit written permission. Use the contact page to request permission.

Ready to take the next step? Find out more about private classical piano lessons, private classical singing lessons, private speaking voice lessons, or master classes, by scheduling an interview at no charge and no obligation. I respect your privacy and your email address will not be sold, rented, transferred, added to a list, etc. It will be used only to contact you for schedule changes.