How Music Affects the Brain
Who doesn’t love a soothing tune after a long day at work, or perhaps something to get you in the zone before you hit the gym for your daily workout, or just sitting in your room with your friends jamming out to your favorite artists, somehow music always finds a way to make situations better.
While your favorite songs will definitely make you dance in joy or sing along without missing a beat, the biggest impact is the way in which music affects the brain.
From heightening your senses to changing how you experience time, let’s dive in and make your favorite song that much more important to you.
1. A Mind Not So Empty
An empty mind is the devil’s workshop, but a mind full of tunes is not just fun but according to recent studies might actually help your brain develop new neural connections.
All the technical science aside, the way music keeps your mind busy as it simultaneously processes words, notes and tunes is what many researchers believe causes your brain to be active for longer times. Essentially your go-to party song is like a gym for your brain.
2. Learning Lyrically
There is no doubt that musicians put a lot of thought behind the music that they produce, that same creative energy is what often results in such intense emotional responses to such songs.
Studies suggest that we retain the most amount of knowledge through song.
Whether that be an impressive one liner in a John Mayer, or the sudden urge to read about Greek Mythology after listening to Guns n Roses, music provides knowledge through the most unexpected medium.
3. Musicians – The Balance Between Cool And Smart
I will hold my hand up here, I always imagine myself selling out concerts while listening to my favourite Hozier tracks, but turns out apart from being super cool your favourite artist is also super smart, perhaps more than they get credit for.
Since your brain gets a workout while listening to music, imagine what it would do if you were actually playing it.
Playing an instrument trains the mind tremendously not just in repeating simple tasks but also boosts your creative capability.
The higher you train yourself in a particular instrument, the sharper your brain gets in every task associated with it.
So the next time you’re singing karaoke, do know you’re also training your brain.
4. You Shall Remember
To terribly paraphrase another popular song, everybody gets old and it is in this situation that music often takes actual medicinal properties rather than just helping us with heartbreaks.
Experts suggest that patients suffering from Alzheimer’s benefit tremendously when important songs from their past are played.
It provides them with a good reminder of their emotional memory and while the behavioural benefits only last for a short while, usually for a 10 to 30-minute period, there is something poetic about the fact that music can provide comfort in such testing times.
5. Listen Up Close
Any artform needs the right tools to be perfectly expressed and experienced, a painter needs his brush, a drummer his kit and similarly those who produce music need their gear in tip top condition.
That however does not mean top quality products are only meant for those who indulge in music for money, you too can and should spoil yourself with some professional gear.
While it may seem like a big investment, it is completely worth it, as these devices tend to last for ages while keeping their quality intact.
So, the next time you need to listen to your favorite music, strap on a pair of wireless earbuds, and lose yourself in the music.
6. Kick Back and Relax
It isn’t a surprise that spas have soothing tunes playing in the background or waiting rooms don’t like to leave you without some music, even some elevators are kind enough to break the awkward silence with some tunes of their own, and for very good reason.
Music is known to reduce anxiety, discomfort or in rare cases even pain as the activity of your brain resembles very closely to other destressing activities.
It releases dopamine, the chemical that makes you feel happy, so in some cases music is quite literally medicine you can dance to.
7. Boost Yourself
Lo-fi beats are the newest trend in the industry, you can see for yourself with every major streaming platform having countless “Lo-fi” playlists for you to basically focus too, and they have strong claims to back their efforts.
Music on a moderate tempo has time after time been a proven method to boost effort and creativity, don’t believe me or the scientists backing this? Well take Ernest Hemingway’s word who famously wrote his Pulitzer Prize winning book The Old Man and the Sea while listening to Beethoven.
“7 Powerful Ways in Which Music Affects the Brain” is a guest post by Ronald Ross