It is a well known fact that a whole lot of people enjoy music to a great extent, be it gospel or secular. Music does, indeed, improve brain health in many ways. Amazingly, music can affect one's emotions and mood to a great extent.
Several areas of the brain are activated when listening to music as well as when playing music. I'll focus on four parts for this post.
the cerebellum is situated at the back of the head (below the cerebrum). According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the cerebellum is the second largest organ in the brain and is a vital control centre for reflex actions, balance, rhythm and coordinating skeletal muscle movement. The cerebellum helps to create smooth, flowing movements when hearing or playing music.
A part of the cerebrum known as the INFERIOR FRONTAL GYRUS is concerned with recalling memories to remember music lyrics and sounds when they are heard or sung. Also, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, another area in the cerebrum known as the DORSOLATERAL FRONTAL CORTEX is stimulated when hearing music to keep the song in working memory and bring up images that are associated with the sounds and to visualize the music when playing it.
The limbic system comprises several interconnecting parts situated deep inside the brain. This part of the brain responds/reacts emotionally to music. The feeling could be chills, joy, sadness, excitement, pleasure etc.
The auditory cortex plays an important role in hearing. In hearing process, multiple sounds are transduced simultaneously, the role of the auditory system is to decide which components form the sound link.
When listening to, or playing music, the auditory cortex analyzes the information from the music such as volume, tempo, melody, rhythm and pitch.
In science, there is a field known as COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE. according to Wikipedia, cognitive Neuroscience of music is the scientific study of brain-based mechanisms involved in the cognitive processes underlying music. These behaviours include music listening, performing, composing, reading, writing and ancillary activities. It is also increasingly concerned with the brain basis for musical aesthetics and musical emotion.
The cognitive Neuroscience of music represents a significant branch of music psychology, and is different from other related fields such as cognitive musicology in its reliance on direct observations of the brain and use of techniques such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Electroencephalography (EEG) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
The interest in the effects of music on the brain has led to a new branch of research called NEUROMUSICOLOGY which explores how the nervous system reacts to music.
MUSIC CAN IMPROVE YOUR MOOD
Science has proved that listening to, and playing music, reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone, Cortisol. Surprisingly, listening to sad music also has its benefits. For example, if you are depressed, or going through a tough time, listening to sad music can help you get in touch with your emotions, process those emotions, and help you heal.
Another way that music can affect mood is by stimulating the secretion of certain brain chemicals e.g Dopamine. Dopamine is the brain's motivation currency/molecule and is also responsible for the feel-good states derived from eating chocolates, orgasm etc.
MUSIC CAN MAKE YOU MORE PRODUCTIVE.
Background music improves performance on cognitive tasks, as well as accuracy.
Generally, it can be said that music is an important part of our physical and emotional well-being.
Listening to music has been shown to improve memory functioning, increase rate of healing, improve one's workouts and lots more.
So next time you hit up your favorite jamz, think on these benefits and you're sure to enjoy yourself far more than usual.