does music affect behaviour?

On my daily blogstroll I found this interesting article on today’s Arts Journal. Okay, I admit a little bias here because the mention of Finland particularly caught my eye.

Does Classical Music Cure Petty Crime? Anything Else? (Hint: Think Finland)

So some rail stations in England are playing classical music to scare away hoodlums. Bust[sp] doesn’t music have a more profound effect? Which country achieved the best Year 10 results in science and mathematics last year? Finland is the answer. Yes, Finland, with a population the size of Scotland’s and an impenetrable language. What are the Finns doing right? Every child in Finland is given an instrument to play from the first day at school. They learn to read notes on stave before letters on page. They spend hours at drawing and drama. The result is a society of with few tensions and profound culture. Finnish Radio broadcasts in Latin once a week. Finnish railways do not need to play Sibelius, except for pleasure. (PISA link added by me)

Is this not another example of why arts education is so important to society?

On a personal note, I find stores that play loud rock music with that never-ending pounding beat give me a headache (would it cause me to turn violent?) and I leave quickly, rarely leaving any money behind. Maybe that’s their intent – keep out anyone over 30, hmm?? Granted, Muzak isn’t great either. Tastes in music are wide, so why not just leave it out of the stores, or at least turn the volume down, please. I wonder if anyone else feels this way about music in public places?

January 21, 2005 in Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Music by Marja-Leena