Music To My Heart

3rd, 4th and 5th Grade Science Fair Project
Photo © 2008 Fe Ilya, Flickr

Ever wonder if different styles of music affect a person's heart rate? Fifth grade student, Minal Aundhia, did and decided to experiment with the concept for her science fair entry.

Project Preparation

Aundhia hypothesized that music with soothing rhythms like classical, jazz, and relaxation would work to slow a test subject's heart rate, while upbeat selections like Disney tunes, rock, pop, and bollywood (e.g. Hindi, Punjabi, etc.) would cause their heart rate to speed up.

But before she could begin experimentation, Aundhia first had to learn about both heart rate and sound:

  • What is heart rate?
  • How is it determined?
  • What factors cause an increase or decrease in heart rate?
  • Does sound affect heart rate?
  • How do we hear?
  • How is sound perceived?
  • How might music affect heart rate? 

Experimentation

With an understanding of the basics, Aundhia chose four volunteers to test. [NOTE: For better results, test a larger number of participants.] For a look at the supplies used in the experiment, procedure, a table of results, and conclusions, be sure to visit Aundhia's project page. Not only is this a great project for students who are interested in music, physiology, and psychology, experiment volunteers will certainly enjoy being tested!

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