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You want to exercise your body—do sports; you want to exercise your brain—use music! From listening to playing, music is highly beneficial for improving different areas of brain functioning. Although it may seem of purely artistic nature, music is a blend of architectural, structural, and mathematical properties as well. We may not be aware of it, but there’s a lot that your brain needs to compute in order to grasp music thoroughly. This makes it a multi-dimensional activity which can positively change different areas of your life.
Music as a Way of Self Expression
Music has been a part of human civilization since the beginning of time, mostly because of its therapeutic, mood-elevating properties. There is a magnificent connection between emotions and melody. We listen to music when we are ecstatic, in love and happy, but we also turn to it when we are sad and depressed. It’s a way of expression and personal identification. Almost all of the music we listen to was created as strong emotional outlet, a means of expressing humans’ deepest fears, passion, love, hate, happiness, disgust—anything you can imagine.
Music makes us happy. Yes, it’s as simple as that. Science explains that listening, singing, or playing music stimulates formation of certain brain chemicals, like the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. This “mood booster” hormone can help in dealing with anxiety, stress and even some mild forms of depression. A happier brain means a more self confident, motivated and healthy soul.
Music helps in awakening creativity and productivity.
The best gift you can give to your child is a skill of playing an instrument. A common misconception is that only talented kids should bother singing or playing music—on contrary! Taking music lessons can help your child become smarter, more disciplined and focused. What’s more, listening to different musical genres and getting interested in the artistic aspect of music creation and consumption is great for unleashing your creative monsters and letting them take over other areas of your life. The sooner your child is introduced to music playing, the better. Resources like Music Groupies and similar websites are a great place for finding useful information on best instruments and music equipment needed for achieving a proper playing experience.
It’s not uncommon to see professional musicians spread their creativity in different directions, like fashion, acting, visual arts and more. If you’re not looking for a music career, nevertheless, music can help you be more creative in school, at work, or wherever you can benefit from fresh, new ideas. Just by incorporating regular listening to your favourite or appealing music while simultaneously doing other daily activities will significantly boost your thinking process, concentration and productivity. On top of that, everything is simply more enjoyable and fun when done with music.
The Amazing Music Therapy
As mentioned above, music and motor control share the same circuits in the brain, which means that people who suffer from diseases related to movement impairment can very much benefit from a music-based therapy. Patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease or those who lost mobility due to stroke show great improvement in mobility and movement by being exposed to music therapy.
In addition, language learning and language acquisition can be enhanced by incorporating music into the learning process. Learning vocabulary by memorizing lyrics has always been a great method for learning a foreign language. Similarly, listening to music while learning basically anything can help memory. By connecting sentences or strings of words with specific parts of a song, a melody, a line, your favourite tune can become your tool for revising and practicing what has been learned.
Why Musicians Have a Healthier Brain
Most interesting results on benefits of music for the brain consistently show that there is inevitably a difference between musicians and non-musicians in terms of brain plasticity. Basically, people who play an instrument, especially from the early age, generally have bigger, better connected, and more sensitive brains. Consequently, they experience better brain functioning than others, such as superior working memory, advanced auditory skills, and cognitive flexibility.
A study, examining influence of music on brain development, concluded that children growing up with music and playing instruments show improved motor skills, due to constant and regular practicing and playing. The importance of these findings lies in the fact that the mentioned functions are not important just for enjoying music, but also for everyday life situations. Simply put, music helps you have sharp memory, great hand-eye coordination, greater intelligence and more sensitivity when it comes to senses. What a fantastic brain workout!
The truth is, a fulfilled, meaningful life is unimaginable without any form of music. It’s the indestructible connection between the past and the presence, the eternal keeper of youth and the ultimate medicine for your brain. Enrich your life with music and you will never grow old.