Is Synapse Formation in Children Affected by Music?

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Ever since the "Mozart Effect" was first suggested, there has been debate, but Miss Amy's fans aren't waiting to find out for sure.

According to research done at Harvard University over 5 years ago, there does not appear to be an improvement in IQ for children who listen to Mozart before the age of 3. However, if you have aspirations of providing your child with a good musical background to pursue even a semi-professional music career later in life, having him listen to Mozart or other "sophisticated" music before the age of 9 years old is probably not a bad idea; a Harvard research program is not needed to prove this.

However, according to ("Molecular basis for Mozart effect revealed," Apr 23, 2004) researchers at Stanford University have found that rats listening to Mozart "had increased gene expression of BDNF, a neural growth factor, CREB, a learning and memory compound, and synapsin I, a synaptic growth protein, in their hippocampus" than did, "rats who had listened to equivalent amounts of white noise."

This is great news for Miss Amy's fans.

Singer/songwriter, music educator and children's artist Miss Amy has just released her new CD "Wide Wide World," and on it is a collection of music that transcends your average kids music. In fact, one particular favorite, "Giants & Dragons," is based on an Icelandic modal progression with meter signatures of 5/8, 6/8 and 7/8.

Aside from being a fun song about, well, giants and dragons, which kids love to imagine anyway, the composition is sophisticated. Other songs on the CD also have well developed arrangements along with interesting perspectives, novel ideas (literally) and humor.

It has been shown (Mitchell, D. L. - 1994, Doctoral dissertation, University of Central Florida) that "students who scored high academically also scored significantly higher on rhythmic competency." And, it has been suggested that the highest levels of tonal and rhythmic competencies, much like with language learning, can be achieved if diverse music is introduced at an early age.

"As a music instructor I feel it is important to provide all children the best music foundation possible, while, of course, making it fun, even if they don't pursue a career in music," remarks Miss Amy in a recent interview.

To find out more about Miss Amy and her music, visit her website at


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Paul Temple