(From my article in the New York Times August 6, 2000)

NEVER mind that Mozart’s concertos strike peaceful chords in music lovers. In academia, the battle lines are drawn, and the next salvo in the Mozart wars is about to be fired.

Researchers are mustering data to counter debunkers of the ”Mozart effect” — the theory that classical music makes the brain work better — and they have some high-profile allies. President Clinton and the musician Billy Joel, for example, spoke in June at an East Harlem school that received a donation of $5 million in musical instruments from VH1 Save the Music Foundation, in support of the notion that musical education can provide a powerful intellectual stimulus.

In May, Harold O. Levy, the chancellor of New York City’s public schools, surprised 43 school superintendents by arranging for them to take a group violin lesson from Isaac Stern.

Read the article on the Times website>