You are what you listen to

What is your favorite type of music? Can I assume pop? Possibly rap? Or are you a classic rock or classical music fan being overwhelmed by the popularity of pop music?
Well… I am one of those classic rock and classical music fans in the minority. Yes, I listen to classical music for fun. No, not just for music class. It isn’t boring! I find it diverse, dramatic, energetic, relaxing and more. Like a human being, there are so many different moods, personalities and styles. And what of pop music?

“Pop” or popular music is simple. The most popular pop songs are based on the same four chords. That’s right! The same four chords over and over and over. Don’t believe me? Watch “The Four Chord Song” by Axis of Powers here:

And what of the lyrics? The melodies are rudimentary at best and these songs are all about sex, drugs and our material culture. See Nicki Minaj's “Anaconda” written as a poem.

The first program to be cut from our schools is music. Music and art. Musical training helps increase coordination, emotional development, builds imagination, teach disciplines and much more! Here’s “20 Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools”. Oh, did I mention better SAT scores?

The music you listen to correlates to your smarts! Click here to see where your musical tastes fall in this chart of SAT scores. Are you in the thousands? Or, gasp, 800s? Did this inspire you to listen to Mozart right now? This chart dates back to 2009 but the graphic is new. It maps the musical tastes of college students and their SAT scores.

Listening to Mozart during a test makes you get better results as proven by the University of California at Irvine. “... they conducted a study to improve your IQ with specific kinds of music. The study psychologists observed that participants who listened to 10 minutes of a Mozart piano sonata achieved higher scores on a test of spatial intelligence than the participants who took the test without having listened to the music.” Psychologists found that if they listened to a different type of music, for example, a dance piece with lots of rhythms, there is no improvement. This suggests that composition such as Mozart’s sonatas stimulate pathways in your brain that have a connection with mental skills. This “... asserts that music has a direct effect on human intelligence and can improve your IQ.” So how can you stimulate your brain with music and eventually improve your IQ? Take advantage of wonderful opportunities such as...

Project 440, created by Joseph Conyers, a bassist currently a part of the Philadelphia Orchestra, is an organization “designed to encourage, educate and empower communities through the unifying power of music.” They want “ establish music as a central tool for education, leadership, and community building.” Through training young musicians to serve their community with sharing their gift of music, they have increased appreciation of classical music in young people. Project 440 strives to ignite young people’s excitement about sharing their music with the world. With help during the college audition process, Project 440 empowers students to turn their passion for playing into a passion for giving.


These children are getting to see Joseph Conyers, a bassist, up close and in action. Learning a new instrument, like a new language, only gets more challenging as you grow older. It’s easier to start at a young age! (Source)

In conclusion, music can improve your IQ and test scores and is an invaluable opportunity for all. wonder what classically trained musicians listen to in their free time? How do most teenagers actually feel about classical music? About learning a classical instrument?

Comments (4)

Amal Giknis (Teacher)
Amal Giknis

Really interesting project here, Claire! I'm very intrigued about your next steps with it; do you plan to participate with Project 440 to be an agent of change?

Also, does "classic rock" sometimes fall under the umbrellas of pop music? (I think of Led Zeppelin and The Who … or do you mean something else?)

Jhazzelle Majarucon (Student 2018)
Jhazzelle Majarucon

This post is well-written and very persuasive. It actually persuaded me to listen to a better music and talking about SAT scores??? Well yes I will definitely change my taste in music which wouldn't help my SAT score at all. :( The line "The music you listen to correlates to your smarts!" because it is very interesting to know that even the music you listen to affects your brain. Another line is "The most popular pop songs are based on the same four chords. " because it tells me that pop songs are not worth to be listened to and these songs are not unique at all. I am looking to an even mind blowing research (no pressure!) but keep doing what you’re doing because you’re doing awesome! :))) Well done!

Arielle Moore (Student 2018)
Arielle Moore

This is so cool! I never really focused on how music could influence someone's decisions and even how well they preform academically. I think it would be a great idea to include classical music into schools to increase the performance of students. It would also help to further produce brain function.

Avery Measley (Student 2018)
Avery Measley

I love classic rock!! I agree this topic is generally overlooked. As you stated "Musical training helps increase coordination, emotional development, builds imagination, teach disciplines and much more!" This reminded me of how we only had music class in elementary school, and that they had to cancel it because of budget cuts. I found that bit about Mozart and tests super interesting, and now I want to try it! I'm looking forward to more information on how what different genres affect you.