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Classical Music and Cognitive Tasks

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Areas of Science
Time Required
Long (2-4 weeks)
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Does listening to classical music help or hinder concentration and performance on cognitive tasks? You'll need help from a teacher to design two short, age-appropriate worksheet tests for this experiment. The tests should be of equal difficulty. You'll also need the cooperation of several additional classroom teachers in order to test enough students (at least 50-100, see the Science Buddies resource: How Many Participants Do I Need?). Half the students will take test A while listening to classical music and test B with no background music. The other half of the students will take test B while listening to classical music and test A with no background music. Analyze the scores to see if there are differences in performance between the music and non-music conditions. You should also be able to show that the two tests are equally difficult under the same conditions (or use the averaged results to correct for any difference in difficulty between the two tests). (Ritblatt, 2004)


Ritblatt, N.S., 2004. "How Does Classical Music Affect Cognitive Tasks in K–1st Grade Children?" California State Science Fair Abstract [accessed August 23, 2006] http://cssf.usc.edu/History/2004/Projects/J1716.pdf
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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Classical Music and Cognitive Tasks." Science Buddies, 28 July 2017, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Music_p003/music/classical-music-improve-cognitive-tasks. Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2017, July 28). Classical Music and Cognitive Tasks. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Music_p003/music/classical-music-improve-cognitive-tasks

Last edit date: 2017-07-28
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