Enhancing positive school atmosphere through music

Enhancing positive school atmosphere through music

Have you ever heard about the “Mozart Effect”? It has been a buzz phrase ever since a 1993 study revealed that college students’ scores improved on spatial-temporal reasoning tests after listening to 18th century music works from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Austrian composer.

The researchers behind the “Mozart Effect” study, Professor Francis Rauscher and Dr. Gordon Shaw, made national news again in the late 1990s with an inspiring study that motivated people on a national scale to reintroduce music – especially classical music – into children’s lives and education.

Background music is used extensively throughout society, particularly in marketing, sports psychology and medicine. It is used to reduce stress, create an illusion, manipulate perception, alter people’s emotional state, and to enhance well-being.

What about the use of background music in schools? As the study suggests, we decided to give it a try. In the beginning of June, a ‘Smart Bell’ system was installed in ‘Kolin Gjoka’ School, a ‘Skills for Jobs’ S4J partner VET institution. The system is a substitute for the old monotone bell announcing the breaks between classes featuring a variety of classical music – including Mozart masterpieces.

A software makes sure music (classical for the moment) starts playing in the school’s hallways in the morning before classes start and throughout the breaks. Teachers report that it has had a positive impact in the behaviour of students and teachers since the system was installed. “The new bell system has a wonderful effect! Even though you might be stressed out, once you get in the hallway and listen to the music, you start smiling. And students smile more when they listen to the music!”- says Vera Gjeloshi, deputy director and math teacher at ‘Kolin Gjoka’ school.

Appropriately chosen music in the hallways creates a more attractive and relaxed atmosphere in the school environment, has a positive impact on students’ and teachers’ behaviour, may boost creativity and lead to improved learning outcomes.

The ‘Smart Bell’ system will be installed in other vocational schools supported by ‘Skills for Jobs’ S4J before the beginning of the next academic year.

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