BBC Radio 4’s listen again feature is a gold mine of high quality programs. I discovered one from 2002 on the Mozart Effect which is well worth a listen. It looks at the research and theories behind the Mozart Effect and talks to the experts who have studied the music’s effect on a range of people.
At the Aberdare Boys School in South Wales, UK, a study found that "ten children with special educational needs were bombarded with sound by playing orchestral music (mainly Mozart) during normal learning activities. The resultant effect on their behaviour was remarkable."
In a study of epileptic’s, Mozart’s Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos (Mozart – Piano Sonata, K448. Schubert -…) Dr Hughes of University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, USA found that "In 23 of 29 instances significant decreases in epileptiform activity were noted…". Further work by Dr Hughes looked at the effect of other pieces of music found that Bach might also be effective.
The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine has an article looking at some studies on the Mozart Effect. Wikipedia has generally negative article on the effect. A good round up of the evidence can be found here
See also Music and IQ