Music is one of the few activities that involve using the whole brain. Many parts of our brain have to work together to comprehend even the simplest tune. Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout, which engages practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory and motor cortices. There are few activities in life that utilizes the entire brain, and music is one among them.
Music stimulates the production of alpha and theta waves in the brain. Highly creative people have a different pattern of brain waves than normal or non-creative individuals. Big bursts of alpha brain waves induce creativity. Similarly, theta brain waves are associated with the process of dreaming, states of enhanced creativity, learning, and relaxation. Thus, music has been shown to stimulate creativity.
One cannot deny the power of music. Music with 60 beats per minute beat pattern activates the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, cause the brain to be more capable of processing information.
Imagining Music Mentally
Imagining music can activate the auditory cortex almost as strongly as listening to it. Imagining the action of playing music activates the auditory cortex. This means that a person can hear music even if it is not really playing.
Listening to music facilitates the recall of information. Researchers have shown that certain types of music are a great “keys” for recalling memories. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be recalled simply by “playing” the songs mentally.
People perceive and respond to music in different ways. The level of musicianship of the performer and the listener as well as the manner in which a piece is performed affects the “experience” of music. An experienced and accomplished musician might hear and feel a piece of music in a totally different way than a non-musician or beginner. This is why two accounts of the same piece of music can contradict themselves.
- Reading and literacy skills
- Spatial-temporal reasoning
- Mathematical abilities
- Emotional intelligence
On Animals and Plants, Too!
Tests on the effects of music on living organisms besides humans have shown special bit of music aid hens in laying more eggs. Music can also help cows to yield more milk. Researchers from Canada and the former Soviet Union found that wheat will grow faster when exposed to special ultrasonic and musical sounds.
Our Music Choices Can Predict Our Personality
- Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease.
- Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease.
- Classical fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease.
- Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing.
- Western fansare hardworking and outgoing.
- Rock fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, gentle, and at ease.
- Pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease.
- Infants as young as five-months-old respond rhythmically to music and seem to find it more interesting than speech.
- The chills you get when you listen to music, is mostly caused by the brain releasing dopamine while anticipating the peak moment of a song.
- Listening to music for just 15 seconds could change how we judge emotions on the faces of other people.
- Studies have found that musicians appear to use their highly connected brains like a good internet search engine.
Music with just instruments helps people perform better than vocal music. However, It’s not clear what type of music is better, or what kind of musical structure is necessary to help, but the recent findings show that listening to any music that is personally enjoyable has positive effects on cognition.