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How Does Music Affect Our Brains?

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When you put on headphones or listen to music sometimes you can’t help but get up and dance around. It’s obvious that listening to music can make you lose control of your body but, not many people really know what music does to your brain. The amount of control music has over you and your brain is shocking. Music can easily affect your brain development, learning, daily moods, and even your health.

When we hear music we enjoy your brain releases a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is what makes you feel happy and euphoric.It’s a natural response your body has and happens almost instantly. This is the reason you might find yourself playing your favorite song over and over after you had a terrible day. Just hearing it can improve your mood. After hearing the song many times and experiencing the feeling you start to expect it. So, once you press play your brain is already working on sending that dopamine and giving you that good feeling. Everyone’s opinion of music is different so a song that makes you happy within a second might not work for someone else.

On the complete opposite hand a song you hate might give you a negative feeling and make your mood worse. If you associate a song with sadness or a bad event, your brain will begin to release a chemical called serotonin. The increase of serotonin will make you feel sad or even depressed.

Most people in the world feel something when they hear different types of music. Only about 3-5 percent of the world's population feels absolutely nothing with music in their ears. This condition is called musical anhedonia. People who suffer from musical anhedonia live completely normal lives but can never understand why people enjoy music and love it so much.

Most people experience an increase in heart rate and skin conductance. People who have musical anhedonia don’t experience this at all. Their brains have zero response to music regardless of the type or genre. Their brains still produce dopamine and serotonin regularly when it comes to other types of events, but they don’t have any reaction to music.

Music isn’t only used to boost happiness, it can also be used by people like writers and artists to help boost creativity. The right side of your brain is responsible for everything creativity related, including music. Listening to music stimulates the right side of your brain and gets the creative juices flowing. This is why people find themselves throwing in the headphones when it's time to get their assignments done. Something as simple as music you like can help increase your productivity, and pleasure from your work.

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Different types of music might produce different feelings. For example you wouldn’t listen to classical music while you’re going on a ten mile run. Studies around the world have shown listening slow light classical music can help with your focus and keep you nice and calm. Its would be good to listen to this in the classroom when you’re reading a book or writing an essay. When you’re going for a run you would listen to faster music with a clear beat. Athletes can listen to faster music when their just getting started to help get their heart rates going and get them pumped up. In the end they slow down the beats per minute of the type of music so they can begin to calm down.

Music can even encourage brain growth and improve functions such as auditory processing, learning, and memory. The auditory cortex is one part of the temporal lobe. Without the auditory cortex we wouldn’t have the ability to understand music. Not only does it help with understanding music but it helps with understanding spoken phrases. Listening to music often helps make these abilities your brain gives you stronger. Since music helps increases your focus and ability to understand it makes taking in information much easier. In other words, music can help you learn. Finally music promotes good memory. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what we ate for breakfast yesterday but once that song comes on we know all the lyrics. You may also recall a specific even much easier if you knew the song that was playing in the background. Not only if music fun to hear but it also serves as a form of brain food.

Different genres of music have different impacts on our brains and our bodies. Pop and rock music are known for pushing physical endurance and physical performance. Rap music music stimulates a person's emotions. Whatever the artist is rapping about and feeling the audience will feel as well. Rap music also helps with your language skills and increases your knowledge of different words. Not many people listen to nature music but it still has its own affects on our brains. The sounds of nature such as waves crashing or rain hitting the ground automatically calms us down. This type of music can be played when you’re trying to fall asleep or even in a babies nursery to keep them calm and sleeping peacefully.

I'm sure everyone has seen a movie that had them sitting on the edge of their seat. Of course the movie itself was probably great but, music actually plays an enormous roll on how the movie goes. Since movies have been a thing music was included. When old silent movies were shown an orchestra would be sat right to the side of below the screen. They would play the necessary music. Today we don’t need an orchestra but we still need to music. An epic fight scene wouldn’t be accompanied by a classical slow song. The music playing also gets your brain ready for what to expect. When you’re watching a horror movie the music playing is what tells your brain to be afraid and bury your head in the blanket.

Unfortunately music isn't always something so fun like participating in a choir or watching your favorite movie. Music is also used for numerous kinds of therapy. From depression, anxiety and ptsd to head injuries, deafness and even alzheimer's disease. Everyone’s music therapy is unique and has to be designed based on health factors, emotional state, cognitive skills, and interests. Music therapy can differ from patient to patient. SOme might benefit from hearing different types of music while some would benefit more from composing their very own songs.

Music is something that has been around for thousands and thousands of years. Over time it has evolved and changed completely but humans love for it has never faded away. There’s numerous types of music and millions of songs available for us. The possible combinations of notes and songs are endless. Right now we know music is not only a form of entertainment but a form of medicine. Music affects our brains and the way we think way more greatly than people realize. The impact of music has been climbing since it was first ever made and will only continue to climb as time goes on.

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How Does Music Affect Our Brains? (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 5, 2024, from
“How Does Music Affect Our Brains?” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
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How Does Music Affect Our Brains? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Mar 5]. Available from:
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