Benefits of Classical Music

Simply listening to and being exposed to music has many documented benefits.  Classical music, in particular, has been found to promote a number of positive outcomes and even enhance brain development, spacial-temporal reasoning, and people’s ability to think and reason [1].

Classical music is especially beneficial for infants and children [2-5].  The structure of classical music is different from and more complex than other types of music [2, 3].  Babies as young as 3 months are able pick out this structure and even recognize classical music pieces they have heard before [3, 4].  Classical music’s structure also appears to stimulate the same pathways in the brain that are used for certain kinds of thinking, specifically spatial reasoning (which is involved in spatial tasks such as putting a puzzle together) [2, 3, 5].  When a person listens to classical music, the spatial pathways in his or her brain are activated and ready to be used, although the effect lasts only a short time [3].  Listening to classical music’s complex patterns also may help a baby to learn to differentiate between similar sounds, develop auditory memory, and aid in language development [2, 4].

Classical music can also have uplifting effects on babies and children’s moods and promote their physical well-being [2, 4, 5].  Listening to calming pieces has been shown to positively affect heart rate and induce a relaxation effect [2].  Listening to certain types of classical music also helps the body release endorphins, which serve as natural relaxants in the brain [2].  These endorphins can improve mood, calm the body, and even reduce pain sensation [2].  Music has even been linked to positive effects on health such as promoting healing and immune system function [2, 4].

In sum, music can be beneficial for a child’s brain development, improve ability to focus and learn, and promote general calmness, health, and well-being [5].



[1] Shaw, GL. Keeping Mozart in Mind (2nd Edition). 2004. Elsevier Academic Press: San Diego, CA.

[2] Brunetti C. “Benefits of Classical Music for Babies.” available from:, accessed 10/3/2012.

[3] Bales D. “Building Baby’s Brain: The Role of Music.” The University of Georgia/College of Family and Consumer Sciences, “Strengthening Georgia Families and Communities” 1998. Publication No. FACS 01-7;

[4] Vaughan J. “The Effect of Classical Music on Babies.” available from:, accessed 10/3/2012.

[5] Douglas K. “Positive Effects of Music on Kids.” available from:, accessed 10/3/2012.


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