The style and significance of music differs from place- to- place and time- to- time, but music has always been a very important and present part of our everyday lives. Have you ever wondered why that is? What is it about music that affects us so much, and exactly how much power does music have?
Cognitive neuroscience of music is the study of the mental and physical reactions to writing, reading, performing, creating and listening to music. It explains why different music can make you want to dance, smile or cry. There’s more than that, though music affects a lot of different aspects of our everyday lives.
Music and Education
- Playing, and even just listening to, music seems to help people better recall and remembers things from their past, which has been speculated to help with test- taking. In addition, music is seen as a helpful element to people who suffer from conditions that cause memory loss, like Alzheimer’s disease.
- This study implies that providing young students with adequate music programs (a relevant issue, due to the number of schools who have had to cut art programs out of their budgets in recent years) will increase their core academic test scores overall compared to schools that don’t provide musical education.
- The widely- debated “Mozart Effect” states that classical music provides an environment that causes people to do better on math tests.
Music and Marketing
- Music plays an integral part in TV and radio advertising. Jingles help viewers remember a product, a signature tune provides familiarity with a brand, and the mood of the music affects your emotions in relation to what’s being advertised.
- Retail stores play music for a variety of reasons. Music relaxes people, and stores that play upbeat music are more likely to sell their product. In addition, music is a way to market to your specific demographic and draw people into your store. Most likely, the music playing in the next store you walk into was carefully chosen.
- Nobody likes waiting. But would waiting be worse if there wasn’t any hold music playing? Whether you’re on the phone, in a waiting room or in an elevator, background music does a better job than you realize at making you forget how long you’ve been waiting; it was created and designed to make customers have a blurred perception of time.
- Music has been used as a type of emotional therapy for centuries and is currently gaining rapid popularity around the world. You can even obtain a degree in music therapy from a university.
- Different forms of music therapy are used to help people who suffer with mood disorders like schizophrenia, dementia, amnesia and depression to alleviate symptoms and improve the various issues associated with each condition.
- Listening to music from your adolescence in your free time can actually be personally therapeutic. Studies show that people always feel a particular connection the music they listened to when they were in their late teens or early twenties. Songs from your youth bring about positive nostalgia.
- Read more about music therapy at the American Music Therapy Association website.
- Researchers now know that fast- paced, upbeat music has a correlation with an increase in motivation and strength while exercising. Music eliminates distraction and pushes your body to move faster.
- Researchers also have a theory that upbeat music increases mental productivity as well. The theory predicts that putting on some of your favorite fun music will make you more likely to complete your tasks. Though studies on this vary in the success of the results, happy music certainly doesn’t hurt your productivity.
- Catchy, fun music is a good tool if you’re someone who gets anxious before a big meeting or presentation. Turning on a lighthearted or humorous song right before an important moment is effective in calming down and getting rid of nervous energy.
- It would make sense for someone who’s feeling down to put on a cheerful song, but that’s most often not the case. Why is that? Sad music actually has a way of making people who are already sad feel better.
- This survey explains that listeners are drawn to softer sad music because of a desire for human connection. When a particular song is similar to whatever they’re going through at the time, the participants explained they felt like part of a larger human experience.
- Other people who were surveyed explained if they were feeling bothered or just not quite themselves, listening to sad music helped them draw out their negative emotions and relieve the bad feelings. In addition, seemingly sad music does often have an underlying message of hope which was also a hopeful component to respondents of the survey.
Those are some explanations for some of many ways that music affects our lives. With the right knowledge, we can use music to our advantage to learn, heal, motivate ourselves and release pent-up emotion.
What has been your personal experience with music? Tell us how it’s affected you in the comments below.