The Power of Music Education to Influence the Human Mind

Impact of Music on the Human Mind

There’s more to music than entertainment. Other than being a great source of contentment and pleasure, it can also impact your mind and brain positively. Music apparently carries myriad psychological benefits as well. It can energize your body, fight off mental illness, and even manage physical pains.

That’s part of the reason why music is gaining prominence as a therapy in elderly care and otherwise.

A growing number of therapists are encouraging people to enroll in music lessons.

Changes in the Brain Structure

There’s good research-based evidence that using musical cues while learning a new skill or performing a physical task could significantly improve different parts of the brain.

According to the study, participants who performed a basic task with some music playing in the background showed promising structural connectivity in various regions of the brain that control movement and sound processing.

The findings of the study focused on white matter movement and pathways and they were promising. In the future, it could mean a great deal for patients going through rehabilitation who have lost control over their movement.

The study invited 30 volunteers who were divided into 2 groups. Each group was given a task that involved learning a new finger movement with their non-dominant hand. While one group learned this activity with the help of musical cues, the other did not have any music.

At the end of the study, experts performed an MRI scan of the participant’s brain. The findings observed that the scans of the music group showed signs of better structural connectivity in the brain in terms of the white matter. The part that links the motor region and the auditory. There were no significant changes in the brain chemistry of the non-music group.

Specific Skills Strengthened With Music Training:

Better Attention and Memory

How students learn when they are exposed to positive music. The results were promising; possibly because the selection of music elicited positive emotions that did not interfere with memory formation.

However, it was observed that the students performed better on their learning tests when neutral music was played. It could be due to the neutral music being less distracting. Therefore, if you do resort to music therapy, it might be better to play less distracting neutral tracks for best results.

It has also been observed that people have less difficulty learning new words of a new language when they sing them as phrases or rhythms rather than speaking them plainly.

Cognitive Performance

There’s plenty of evidence that if you play any kind of background music while the person is engaging in some other activity, the cognition that goes into the handling of that task improves dramatically. 

When upbeat music was played in the background it led to better speed processing. In the same way, playing downbeat music led to better memory and recall.

So, if you want to elevate your overall performance and do a better job on important tasks, be sure to put on some elevating music. It’s good for mental performance. Also, pay attention to using some upbeat tracks rather than distracting music and complex lyrics that end-up distracting you rather than helping you.

Reduce Stress

We have more than enough evidence to suggest that music is an excellent tool for stress management. There’s a reason why a growing number of elderly living centers, hospitals, and even schools are using therapy for relaxing stress patients and students.

Participants were studied for their psychosocial stress test. They were exposed to three different conditions before a stressor was used on them. After using the stress, they were analyzed for their psychosocial stress levels. 

One group listened to rippling water sounds while the other listened to soothing music. The 3rd group did not receive any auditory stimulation at all.

The results of the study showed that those who listen to music had a better human stress response. They happened to recover much more quickly after receiving a stressor than those who didn’t.

Neural Speech-sound Processing

Research tells us that the processing speed or the pace at which our brains take in the information or respond to it is among the biggest proofs of cognitive performance. In older adults particularly, this is of immense help because our processing speeds decline with age.

Cognitive exercises involving music can come to the aid of learning, training, and improving our processing speeds.

Eases the Symptoms of Depression

Music is capable of healing a variety of mental health disorders including depression. It’s a highly effective and low-risk way of treating this widespread issue. It can even help, to a mild degree, with conditions like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and dementia.

What Music Is the Best?

There’s no way to gauge which music might be best for therapeutic purposes. However, classical, slow, and neutral tracks are supposed to offer the best benefits. Techno, heavy metal, and fast tracks might prove detrimental and ineffective.

Bottom Line

So, are you ready to join music therapy or go for music lessons?

Author Profile

Dan Dunn
Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

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