(Post Via Josey Dunbar) Music philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, made this claim by insisting that humans ‘listen to music with their muscles’ through the use of facial expressions, keeping rhythm, and using their bodies to sing along. He projected music as something which requires the whole person rather than a mere half-listening ear.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why music is everywhere you go? Why these unavoidable tonal patterns are essential to human life and apparent in every aspect of society?
Maybe it’s a nice distraction from daily life, or maybe it’s much deeper than that.
Scientists have found that the act of simply experiencing music with others stimulates a ‘binding of the nervous system’ which can physically heal people. So hooray! Every musician can be a doctor! (Sort of).
Studies have shown that there are certain places in the brain most stimulated by the rhythmic sequences of sound. The Auditory Cortex (a fitting title) is primarily part of the temporal lobe on either side of the brain and the cells within are organized depending on their ability to receive high or low frequencies.
The Cerebellum is located at the back of the brain and is the body’s center for rhythm balance and coordination. The Center for Neuroskills attributes a musician's ability to move their body to play their instrument as envisioned, is all thanks to a highly functioning Cerebellum.
And Finally, The Limbic System gives you the ability to react to music with your emotions, and feel the pleasure of a song you love. Disease researchers have also noted this as the place where humans feel the music rather than hear it.
While our brain is busy experiencing the influence of this amazing art, our bodies, minds and nervous systems are able to improve with the simple influence of these tone patterns.
One mind-blowing study conducted by a series of educators in music drafted the hypothesis that performing a musical instrument can protect the human brain from degenerative diseases. This was based on the scientific evidence that playing an instrument improves cognitive ability.
In order to prove this theory, music educators studied twins; this would eliminate favorable genetics as an indication for dementia prevention. The results of the study showed that musicians who play well into adulthood were thirty-six percent less likely to develop dementia.
Another fascinating discovery showed that playing an instrument leads to a higher IQ in early adulthood. In this study, researchers found that children under ten who had a sole year of instrumental music lessons had a significantly higher intelligence quotient than those who did not attempt to learn.
So now that you know how powerful music can be in the human brain, you may be wondering how to take it even further to develop some supernatural abilities (at least I am). Sadly, no discovered have been made on that —yet— however, there are several ways for us to best utilize the gift of music.
Music can be used to reduce stress and depression through improving mood, reducing stress, boosting immunity and aiding social bonding. It can also lead to enhances cognition. Through learning to play an instrument, even as a beginner, you will improve certain high brain functions which truly can enhance brain development.
Finally, don’t forget to use music as a memory booster. Science has found that music can be used on young brains to retain formation and enhance learning.
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Josey is music obsessed and a diehard Tom Petty fan. Josey currently lives outside of Los Angeles where she enjoys excessively sunny days, train adventures, and organic chai (yes, Josey is high-maintenance about her chai).
I'm a music business professional with an innate interest for music and subcultures! Nothing brings me more joy than to hear about people's newest music obsession, I can tell you I am currently digging a lot of OK Go.