Listening to Mozart's piano concertos while writing papers has been a practice I have engaged in for several years. My favorite to use for inspiration and to energize me is K.448. K.448 is a sonata that Wolfgang Mozart wrote for dual pianos at the age of 25. I appreciate the background information that Dan Campbell provided about Mozart earlier years. Campbell's extensive list of empirical studies that support his philosophy adds credibility to his writing. Most especially I was intrigued by the methods Dr. Alfred Tomatis engaged in to promote healing. It was Tomatis who first coined the phrase, "The Mozart Effect."
I was surprised to learn that our hearing and ability to listen can be affected by our overall health and diet as well as climate and environment. . According to Dan Campbell, "Scientific studies have begun to confirm the important relationship between diet and hearing. Finnish researchers, for an example reported that people on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet had better circulation to the ears and consequently better hearing," (pg. 39). The results of another study done at West Virginia University School of Medicine which surveyed 1,400 individuals with inner ear problems, indicated that, "hearing improved in those that were given nutritional counseling and put on diets low in saturated fats, simple sugars, table salt and high in whole grain cereals, vegetables and fresh fruit" (p. 39). It was also interested to learn that people react to sounds differently. Music that may be uplifting and energizing to one person might be frightening to another. Likewise, one person might find a particular type of music helps with their concentration while it may be very distracting to someone else. The differences in how people perceive sound can be one explanation of why there is such a wide variety of music types and choices in not only the world but, also within small communities. Personally, I occasionally enjoy listening to country music because I find many country songs speak from the heart. The messages in them are usually simple and direct and reflect humanistic qualities. Although I listen to them, I know many people who are repulsed by them. I would agree that there are a lot of silly country songs out there, especially the ones involving alcohol, but there are also some reflective ones that I can relate to. I too have my own preferences when it comes to which sounds I choose to listen to. Whereas some individuals find it helpful listen to prerecorded environmental sounds to prepare themselves for meditation, guided imagery, hypnosis, reiki and several other practices, I find it distracting. I must say this type of preparation doesn't work for me. I prefer to listen to environmental sounds in their natural environment: there is nothing like the "real thing."