Do Baby Einstein Products Benefit Children?

Topics: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Classical music, Mozart effect Pages: 7 (2528 words) Published: June 4, 2012
“Do Baby Einstein Products Benefit Children?”

Many parents in todays world strive to have exceptional children. Most parents seem to push their children to develop incredible talent, knowledge, and success. The means of which they go about this have changed. The “Mozart Effect” is one of the new techniques used to try to get children to achieve that “genius” status. In the past many parents thought only things like reading, and solving mathematical equations would help children's intelligence, but they are now discovering that is not true; there are many other ways of helping children achieve their maximum potential, like the Mozart Effect. Many parents have followed this theory, and companies like “Baby Einstein” have flourished. Controversy has come along with these new techniques, and many critics of “Baby Einstein” products believe Disney is unethically convincing parents to purchase their products, only to gain a profit, when in reality, Baby Einstein products have been proven to help the intellectual achievement of children through the “Mozart Effect” when used correctly. Music has been a crucial part of every society since the beginning of history. Before western music developed, many other forms of music were prominent in the world. Gregorian chants are one of the first types of music to have developed in history. Gregorian chants were liturgical chants of the early Roman Catholic Church, named after Pope Gregory I. Although this “music” is not exactly what many people think of, it was still vital to their lives. Music has evolved in many ways, shapes, and forms, but the one constant thing is that music has always been prevalent in the world. Many people, like Don Campbell, think it should be even more prevalent in today's world, and the love and knowledge of music should flourish. The Mozart Effect was developed by Don Campbell, author of “The Mozart Effect” and “The Mozart Effect for Children.” He, along with many other supporters, argues that the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart can make a person smarter. They say the music stimulates the brain, and creates more gray matter which essentially will raise people’s intelligence. Many studies have been done promoting the Mozart Effect. Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California, states that “…listening to Mozart boosted student’s IQ by an average of eight to nine points. The improvements lasted between ten and fifteen minutes” (qtd in Dowd, 21). But many critics don’t think this fifteen minute results are enough to prove that the Mozart that was listened to was what affected them, because it wasn’t a long –lasting effect.. Many people followed this idea, and companies like “Baby Einstein” flourished. Gothie , the author of,“’Great Minds Start Little’: Unpacking the Baby Einstein Phenomenon ”,states that “Entrepreneurs have capitalized, and exaggerated the results of the Mozart Effect to get people to buy more products” ( 7). Gothie argues that the “phenomenon” of these educational videos and toys for children has gotten out of hand, and Fidler et. Al argue in “Television Viewing Patterns in 16 to 18 Month Olds: The Role of Caregiver-Infant Interaction Quality” that these videos, and children’s programs that companies like Disney’s Baby Einstein, are producing can in-fact make your child smarter, help them stay focused, and help them absorb information, but only when the caregiver is actively participating, and having verbal input with the child (192). These contrasting views do have something in common; they both find the Mozart Effect plausible. Although Gothie may not believe in the capitalized, exaggerated version of the “Mozart Effect”, she does acknowledge the study done, and its initial results (Gothie, 2). On the other hand, William Dowd, and Mozart Effect critic, argues against the Mozart Effect completely. In “The Myth of the Mozart Effect”, Dowd argues that in the experiment that holds basis for the theory, there was not a large enough group...

Cited: Dowd, William. “The Myth of the Mozart Effect” Skeptics Society November 4, 2008. Vol. 13.October 2011.
Fidler, Ashley, Elizabeth Zack, Rachel Barr. Television Viewing Patterns in 6 to 18 Month- Olds” The Role Caregiver-Infant Interaction Quality. Washington DC: 2010. Web.
Giroux, Henry A., and Grace Pollock. The Mouse That Roared: Disney and the End of Innocence. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Print.
Gothie, Sarah Conrad. (2006). 'GREAT MINDS START LITTLE ': UNPACKING THE BABY EINSTEIN PHENOMENON. Bowling Green State University / OhioLINK.
"Music and the Mind." NAfME - National Association for Music Education - . Web. 20 Nov. 2011.
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