Music and art are two of the most basic characteristics of human function traced back thousands of years, with its complexity increasing over time. The effects of music on the human brain and social functioning are extensive. Music’s effects on human beings can be classified into three main categories: the effect it has on cognitive and respiratory human function, the effect it has on human societal interactions, and the positive side that comes with the learning experience.
The effects of music on cognitive function are linked to learning and the body’s chemical production triggered by listening or performing music. Studies around the effects of music have shown that when you listen to music (that you like) dopamine, a “feel-good hormone,” is released. Other than dopamine, prolactin, a chemical that brings individuals together, is released when you listen to music with someone else. And what if you both sing? You produce oxytocin, a hormone that makes you feel safe and is considered key in the formation of stronger bonds. No wonder people enjoy performing together in bands, musicals, chorus, and choirs. According to studies on the effects music has on heart and vascular function, it was found that while music is playing, blood flows more freely. It can lower blood pressure, diminish cortisol (reduce stress), and raise blood levels of serotonin and endorphins giving an overly calming effect.
From the societal perspective, music has increased the diversification of our communicative competence as a species. Music can and is used to convey a moral or cultural message which may reflect a society’s cultural values. The use of music as an oral tradition to pass down historical data is extensive across various communities. A study conducted by Oxford University shows that music promotes the growth and development of a community’s language.
Music is essential in the learning process to read and write a language, and necessary to distinguish between the “smaller sounds within words” (Phonological Awareness). As a result, music is an ideal medium for teaching youngsters to listen and respond. Singing and listening to music develop vocabulary, enunciation, comprehension, and an understanding of language structure. Natural communication requires the ability to recognize and reproduce rhythms which is called “Prosody”. Learning to read and spell requires the ability to break sounds down into smaller parts using rhythm, much as we do with syllables, and music aids in this process.
Learning to play a musical instrument:
- Is overly beneficial as it not only nourishes and sustains the brain, but it also benefits many other cognitive and physical parts of the body.
- Has been extensively researched and confirmed to boost memory; it improves both cognitive and muscle memory.
- Is key in the development of life skills associated with the learning process.
Practically, the student is faced with a challenge to tackle which requires a need for resilience to acquire musical skills. On gaining the skills, the student perfects their skill by overcoming weak points and strengthening their strongholds and all this is achieved through consistent lessons, patience, and practice.
The overall scientific outlook of music and its benefits is extensive and there is more to be explored. Thus, the effects music study has on an individual, society, and community are indispensably enormous.
Studio 237 Music Lessons teachers are ready to help you discover, develop, and demonstrate music. Call Ray or Lisa Cyr at 850.231.3199, visit the website www.Studio237Music.com, gmail Studio237Music@gmail.com.