A Mozart operatic score for kids could be one of the most engaging and unique ways to teach them the art of music, a study says.
It’s been almost 20 years since the composer’s first work, The Nutcracker, became available for sale, and there’s little question that it has become a classic of the arts.
Now, a new study by researchers at the University of Toronto and The Walt Disney Company says the score could have a profound impact on young minds.
They found that children who learned to play the Mozart Suite of 17 Requiem for a New Beginning were more likely to choose opera as a career than those who weren’t exposed to the music.
The study, published this week in the journal PLOS One, also showed that learning the Mozarts’ music to children could help them improve literacy, as well as a child’s ability to communicate.
The results are likely to raise concerns about whether children are already being taught Mozart’s music to them, or are being encouraged to do so through education.
“Children who learn to play Mozart are more likely than children who don’t to be interested in opera, so this suggests that music is an important learning tool for the future generation of children,” said co-author Michael Cramer, a professor in the department of music at the university.
“The findings of this study suggest that Mozart is still a very important part of the repertoire of children and young people and may therefore continue to be a crucial teaching tool for many decades to come.”
The study was based on interviews with more than 2,000 students in the UK and the US, as part of a wider study on the composition of classical music, the performance of classical composers, and the arts of education.
It included interviews with a representative sample of the Mozarteum, which has a capacity of 30,000 to 40,000 people each year.
“It’s very interesting because in a world where it’s so easy to teach children Mozart, why would we expect Mozart to be taught?”
“This is a very powerful example of what’s possible when we listen to Mozart and we are interested in music.”
Children, particularly young children, are typically left with no formal music education, but Mozart was a major influence on the development of classical, jazz and classical-inspired music in the early 20th century.
The music was first performed in 1797, but it didn’t become widely known until Mozart died in 1816.
The score was made available for the first time in 1821, when the composer was 76 years old.
It was later released as the Walt Disney Music Library in 1955.
The new study found that the more time children spent playing Mozart tunes, the better their performance skills.
Children who were exposed to Mozarts music were more accurate at reading aloud, and also more likely have lower rates of academic achievement.
“We’re seeing an impact,” Cramer added.
“The results of the research show that music plays a big role in children’s performance and learning.”
“What we’ve found is that kids who play Mozarts are more apt to be good readers.
They’re more likely also to be able to learn from their peers.”