Listening to music by Beethoven and Chopin doubled students' test scores

Neurobiologists at the University of Baylor (USA) found that listening to some classical music during a lecture and while sleeping on the eve of exams can significantly improve test results. The experiment involved 50 students aged 18 to 33 years. Music was played in the background during an interactive lecture on economics. On the eve of the tests, the participants slept in specially equipped laboratories where specialists could monitor the sleep phases of the volunteers. 

Experts turned on the music after the deep phase of sleep (its characteristic feature - absence of fast movements of eyes) and turned off when the sleep became less deep. The control group used white noise to create a sound background. It turned out that listening to classical music during a lecture and while sleeping more than doubled the likelihood of passing the test, while listening to white noise during sleep had no effect on the results. 

Scientists believe that targeted reactivation of memory (inclusion of works that sounded during the lecture) in the deep sleep phase contributes to a more effective "movement" of information from the temporary memory to the area containing long-term memories. 

Experts point out that not all musical works can be used to improve memorization. For instance, neurobiologists have excluded jazz as listening to it increases the probability of waking up even in the phase of deep sleep, as well as popular music - it distracted students during the lecture. 

It also turned out that not all of the classics contribute to memory activation in their sleep. It turned out that the first movement of Beethoven's Moon Sonata, the first movement of Vivaldi's Violin Concerto - Spring (from the cycle The Seasons) and Chopin's Nocturne in E flat major had the best effect. At the same time, Mozart's works, the listening to which, as previously established, makes it possible to improve the results of IQ tests, did not have a significant impact on memory. "Mozart does not save memories," the neurobiologists concluded. 

April 8, 2020, 10:01 a.m.

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