How to Stop Crime with Mozart’s Help

By March 12, 2013Music

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In Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, councilors are trying to put speakers in place around the Willow Street bus stop area to stop crime. This area has become frustrating for shop keepers nearby, as it usually contains people drinking and being violent. Due to this, there have been an increase in police patrols, but it has not decreased the issues in the area. A local resident came up with the idea of using the Mozart Effect, after reading about its use in a similar situation in England, where students who misbehaved were made to listen to an hour of classical music and teachers saw a great improvement.

The hope is that antisocial behaviour will stop as Mozart’s music stimulates the other sections of the brain. The trend of using music to stop crime has been used since the 1980’s. It has been used for instance in 2001 police in West Palm Beach Florida played Mozart on a notorious crime street corner and saw confrontations drop remarkably. As well the London Underground played classical music in its stations in 2005 to stop physical and verbal abuse by youth, to which there were great results. Another example was in 2010 when the Portland Oregon transit played classical music at light rail stops and had incidents decline.

Mozart statue

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However, the thought is that simply playing classical music will not just be the deterrent. The idea is that the area that is known for violence or misbehaviour is claimed by classical music to define the space. When the space becomes defined by classical music, it gives it a new identity. With this new identity of classical music, it forces those who do not appreciate it to pick a new venue to congregate that is a better reflection of them.  It is in the music of Mozart’s Magic Flute that the debate about the Mozart Effect continues!

Article Details: Mozart Effect Stops Crime in New Zealand

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