I read pop neuroscience books as well as science sections on news sites (e.g. BBC, NY Times) and one of the claims I remember reading was that supposedly listening to Mozart music made infants smarter. Google searches on this topic turned up articles as early as 2007, so the idea has been in circulation for a while, even among mass audiences. Reasons given for the varied from promoting language skills to enhancing neural plasticity. But from a parenting perspective (the one I am interested in), the basic question is
Is the so-called "Mozart effect" a scientifically supported, developmental leg up or a media-fueled "scientific legend"?
In short, does my kid actually gain any advantage?
To answer this, consider the following questions:
Is the Mozart effect a scientifically substantiated fact? That is, does listening to classical music actually make infants smarter and lead to greater intelligence?
I'd like to distinguish this from merely becoming more educated due to studying music. I didn't grow up listening to Mozart and now I compose, so there are clearly many ways to learn music. But the critical claim is, if I take two groups of children and play Mozart for one and not the other, does the Mozart group gain some noticeable enhancement of intelligence?