The Effect of Supermemory Music on Students’ Achievement in Vocabulary

The Effect of Supermemory Music

on Students’ Achievement in Vocabulary

A Theoretical Review

Written by:

Herri Mulyono

Many researchers have found that classical music has amazing results not only for adult but also children. Furthermore, they mention that the music might help infants in their brain development. Specifying to some classical music which have been examined, Lazanov in his suggestopedia recommends the use of particular classical music (including baroque music called also as supermemory music) in process of language teaching and learning. Of course, this idea has been supported by an evidence saying that the music might help students memorize thousands foreign language vocabularies in a meeting. The following description will carry out some theories underlying the above idea and give some evidences as well. Then, it provides a conclusion related to the idea described in the last part of the discussion.

A. Background

The idea of using music in language classroom has been known for years. This idea is directed by some proofs that music might lower the degree of anxiety, increase motivation, promote interest, contribute to enjoyment, and stimulate the memory response (Stansell, no year, p.1). Stansell reports that music might assist students in learning language. He also notes that music would help students in optimizing vocabulary learning, proper accent, and grammar as well.

In a process of learning, certain kind of music has been used to improve particular areas of language field such as vocabulary. Classical music seems to bridge this purpose. Furthermore, some slow baroque music which Navakov and Lozanov call as supermemory music are committed to accelerate learning foreign language (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.71-74). Lozanov also proves that certain music has an amazing effect on learning foreign language. His finding shows that particular baroque music contributes more than 85% efficiency to learning foreign language (O’Donnell, 1999, p.3).

Embarking from the above idea, the writer intends to describe a theoretical review on the effect of classical music on students’ achievement in order to see how far a slow baroque music known also as supermemory music might affect students’ achievement in vocabulary. The description first would figure the interconnection between a slow baroque music and brain development in which it specifies to memory enhancement. Then, it would show the benefit and feasibility of using particular supermemory music in language learning.

B. Theoretical Description

Many researches have found some great effects of classical music such as baroque music (called as supermemory music) on brain development. Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary defines baroque as extravagant style in the arts in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. In other words, baroque music might be said as outstanding works of music composed in Europe in 17th and 18th centuries. Composers such Vivaldi, Telemann and Bach are well known for their extraordinary works of this baroque music.

It is obvious that baroque music affects human’s brain. O’Donnell reports that baroque music might turn the heart beat and pulse into relaxation. As the body turns to relax and alert, the brain, then, will be able to optimize its functions. Lozanov (1978) states this condition as psychorelaxation. Furthermore, research has found that the rhythm of baroque music might synchronize both left and right hemisphere of the brain (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.68). In other words, the music activates the left and right part of the brain. This synchronization, then, will energize brain’s activities, and make the brain highly productive. In addition, the synchronization of the left and right hemisphere of the brain will lead into relaxed body and alert mind in which both are ideal states for optimal achievement. Hence, we may assume that brain will absorb information easier and more efficient while it is in a calm state. This condition, of course, will be helpful in learning activities.

In addition, some baroque music might be used to enhance memory. Many researches and studies have been conducted to prove such as this idea. O’Donnell (1999) says that besides maximizing learning, simultaneous action of both left and right brain also assists people to keep new information gained. The brain will also have more capability to process the information. From Lozanov’s researches, Ostrander and Schroeder (1994) say that the music might strengthen students’ memory in classroom.

Considering the great effects of some baroque music, Lozanov named the music as supermemory music. The term supermemory music, then, will be used in further description. It also refers to some baroque music with around 60 beats per minute.

The secret of amazing effects of supermemory music places on its ingredients. Many composers of supermemory music ascertain people that particular elements in the music might connect them to a powerful energy. Supermemory music with only around 60 – 64 beats per gives best result and help memory improve globally (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994, p.72). It is because the rhythm of the music is able to adjust brain’s pattern. Hoffman supports this idea by his saying that 60 to 64 beats per minute is an ideal pace for human heart at rest. As we noticed above, the relaxed body and alert mind are ideal states for optimal accomplishment.

Furthermore, frequencies of supermemory music contribute significant effects on the brain. Dr. Capel notes that different frequency of music (sound) might influence neurotransmitter, brain’s chemical messenger. For instance, frequency 10 Hertz increases the production of Serotonin. Serotonin is chemical messenger that causes human relax and ease pain. Physician found that human could only hear frequencies 20 to 20,000 Hertz. As we know that brain will lose its ability when its energy decreases. Interestingly, Tomatis says that sound with frequencies 5,000 to 8,000 might supply new energy into the brain. It may be assumed that brain gets its “fresh nutrition” from sound (Ostrander and Schroeder, 1994). In addition, the fastest supply emerges from frequency 8,000 hertz. It means frequency 8,000 might recharge “brain batteries” properly. This frequency, then, is known as ultrahigh-frequency. Research has found that brain goes to relax and gets its new energy after listening to such as high frequency music. The richest ultrahigh-frequency seems to be found in Mozart’s outstanding works, Tomatis adds. Mozart’s works contribute frequencies 7,000 to 8,000 Hertz to human’s brain. Hence, the later experiment is going to employ such Mozart’s works.

Supermemory music seemingly has emerged to be an influencing element in language learning as Lozanov found his successful method known as suggestopedia (known also as superlearning in America). The method includes musical accompaniment in which it might accelerate learning. The supermemory music in Lozanov’s study has contributed more than 85% efficiency to language learning (O’Donnell, 1999, p.3). Larsen-Freeman sees the music in Lozanov’s suggestopedia as it might suggest that learning is an easy and pleasant activity (Larsen-Freeman, 1986, p.79). She also adds that the integration of both conscious and unconscious states as the effect of the music enhances learning. Hence, Mora’s conclusion suggests that both music and language should be used together in EFL (English as a foreign language) classroom.

Vocabulary is one of significant areas in language. Lack of vocabulary might arise some problems in mastering language skills such reading, listening, speaking and writing as well. Students may consider lack of vocabulary as a primary problem in their reading activities (Nuttall, 1996, p.62). In addition, in order to survive in such reading activities a number of vocabularies have to be gained. Nuttal (1996) notes that vocabulary of five thousand words is required to start an independent reading.

Achievement in vocabulary might be determined by how far students are able to remember some words previously learned and recall them back. In other words, students’ ability to activate previous language forms learned might decide their achievement in vocabulary (Harmer, 2001). This means that students must store their new vocabularies into their memory and activate them while it is necessary. For this reason Harmer (2001) emerges remembering activities in which they would assist student to bridge the gap between language study and language activation.

The interconnection between supermemory music and brain has been obvious. As noted early that supermemory music might awaken students’ conscious and subconscious minds which both benefits the process of learning. Supermemory music seems to enhance students’ memorizing ability. It is because elements in the music such rhythm and frequency are able to emerge optimal accomplishment of the brain. This, of course, might help students in their achievement in vocabulary. Hence, supermemory music might be employed in language learning classroom to increase students’ achievement in vocabulary. We may assume that students’ vocabulary might increase as they listen to such as supermemory music during the process of learning language.


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