The Mozart Effect refers to claims that listening to Mozart-like music results in a small, short-lived improvement in spatiotemporal performance. Based on predominantly adult research that has shown equivocal findings, there has been speculation that the Mozart effect may have pedagogical benefits for children. The present study aimed to examine the Mozart effect in children and to evaluate two alternative models proposed to account for the effect, namely the trion model and the arousal-mood model. One hundred and thirty-six Grade 5 students (mean age 10.7 years) were exposed to three experimental listening conditions: Mozart piano sonata K. 448, popular music, and silence. Each condition was followed by a spatiotemporal task, and mood and music questionnaires. The results showed no evidence of a Mozart effect. Speculation about applications of the Mozart effect in children needs to be suspended until an effect can be reliably reproduced.
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