In the early 1990’s, Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, and Catherine Ky performed a scientific study to determine whether listening to Mozart would result in better mental performance on various intellectual tasks. They published the results of this study in an article entitled “Music and spatial task performance” in a 1993 issue of Nature magazine. People who had read the article soon coined a new term – “The Mozart Effect.” In short, the theory was that listening to Mozart would make you smarter. The test piece was Mozart’s Sonata in D major for Two Pianos, K. 448. Although I have long been aware varying points of view concerning The Mozart Effect, I did not know that Mozart’s Sonata, K. 448 was the actual test piece when Stefan Palm and I decided (several months ago) to perform it in our concert this Sunday afternoon.
Of course, I would overjoyed if the sanctuary could be filled with future overachievers and their ambitious parents this Sunday afternoon – we would have a full house! Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that listening to Mozart will improve your child’s SAT or ACT scores. What I can guarantee is a very enjoyable concert with a wide variety of musical styles – performed on my two harpsichords (the Bach Concerto), River Road’s two “B” size pianos (the Mozart Sonata), and a combination piano and organ playing a transcription of a thrilling orchestra score (the Franck Variations). This concert might not make you smarter, but it will certainly improve your quality of life. See you on Sunday.