Music as Medicine

A Musical Diet

I have always listened to certain types of music in certain situations and avoided others. I thought I was so clever that nobody could see if I was really into the music playing at the moment unless my body moved to the rhythm. Sometimes I just can’t help it if some dancing tunes come on. Other times I can’t help but hate those very same tunes and of course I always knew I wasn’t in the mood for music when I was angry but maybe that’s because I knew it would change my mood into wanting to dance with someone instead of trying to fight or argue. Music affects our whole body if we’re jiving with it and it’s because it activates our whole brain, it’s as if it makes our brain exercise. There’s an important difference between the word effect and affect. Effect is used to describe a physical change whereas affect is used to describe an emotional change. I use affect when talking about music because it always hits our emotions first before anything else. The beautiful thing about music is that it is never too late in life to pick up an instrument or listen to music because according to research it helps develop our brain if we listen and it helps even more if we play an instrument. Here are some specific ways music affects us in a good way.

  1. Effects of music on our emotions:

Music makes us emotional in a way that has people resonating and by association releasing feelings we might not otherwise have shared. Have you ever been called out for projecting your feelings of anger onto people? Well you were probably listening to some angry music if you don’t think you were projecting. There was a study done in May of 2009 that claims that we project our feelings on to emotionless faces. If you’re like me you might even argue that they’re the ones that look angry when they tell you otherwise. It sounds crazy but we can experience feelings without actually feeling them because music gives us the opportunity to observe emotions without them being our own. High school kids have drama as a side effect from the music they’ve been exposed to. At this point mumble rap is what’s on top and every time I look at my social media I find a new face for the musical genre. Although it’s important for high school kids to have music because of the transition to adulthood it might just be better for troubled kids to focus on school with music that they don’t perceive to be negative so that they can focus on their work at school.

  1. Mid-Volume levels make you more productive

Have you ever tried to read a book while your family is having a party? I doubt many people have because it doesn’t seem possible unless it’s a Mozart listening party. Besides a mismatch of music and tasks the noise level of a party will make you feel unproductive. It’s practically a fact that you can focus on anything with music that you like, so the only thing keeping you from being productive would be a high noise level because our brains get distracted with lyrics and loud sounds. Some might argue that we’re set off by loud sounds because of our survival instincts kick in. If we have a medium to low level of music we get to listen to our favorite songs and boost productivity because it’s not distracting. More specifically, we get a better sense of our progress because if we’re reading and we’re stuck on the same paragraph we’ve been listening to a whole song for then we are going to understand we’re taking longer than we should and then we’re going to do something about it.

  1. It’s good for you, to play is even better

Listening is good because it develops an emotional bond whether it be happy, sad, or angry to the things people are currently living through. People come to life when they listen to the music they’ve related to. That’s why it’s so important to us to have music anywhere. Before I was a musical being I had no interest in things like the iPod because it didn’t make sense to want to have 25,000 songs in one if I wasn’t going to listen to them all the time, it made no sense to have any of that. It is now understood that people like to change their mood with music so an iPod would make it easy for anyone to control their feelings or intensify them with romantic, blues, jazz, classical, pop, rock, etc. There have been advancements in Music therapy for Alzheimer patients where they come back to life after listening to music that they remember. It’s as if the emotion behind their music turns on their memory. On another note, it is even more beneficial to become great with whichever musical instrument you choose. One should understand that it’s not just muscle memory that makes people good, it’s their fine motor skills developed over time while playing said instruments. You can’t have muscle memory without the fine motor skills.

Conclusion

Music has proven itself to be crucial in the development of a well balanced and healthy brain. It takes effort to grow our brains but it’ll be well worth it when you or a loved one retires because then you can tell your grandchildren or their children about the good old days of the 2010s.