Music is the language of the soul. Our history and culture are closely entwined with musical notes throughout time. And, listening to music has been a normal activity that follows us on a day to day basis. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that music has a profound effect on the human mind.
Some would say that music helps us relax, gives us goosebumps, and boosts our mood throughout the day. Moreover, music has been known to be one of the sources able to encourage us to push ourselves to the limit. Even experts have done some research on the effects of music on our productivity.
But what’s the science behind all of this? Here are the 5 psychological facts about the effects of music.
1. The Mozart Effect
The Mozart Effect is one of the most popular scientific concepts surrounding music. Dr Gordon Shaw’s research claimed that listening to Classical music can raise IQ by up to nine points. The main basis for this line of thought has to do with Spatial Reasoning, which is the type of brain activity is used in math, chess, engineering and science. According to the Mozart Effect, Classical music boosts Spatial Reasoning considerably.
2. Music Therapy Helps Repair Brain Damage
Brain damage is one of the most important topics in the world of psychology. Some people suffering from brain damage go through tremendous pain and discomfort, and their life is seriously impacted. But what if music could help? New research shows that music can actually repair brain damage, and it’s been hypothesized that music therapy could be responsible for neurogenesis - which is the birth of new brain cells.
3. Listening to Music Activates the Entire Brain
When you listen to music, there’s not a single part of your brain that isn’t activated. Parts of the brain responsible for emotions, creativity, and even motor functions are working while you listen to music. So if you’re looking for a full-brain workout, simply put on your favourite song!
4. Music Can Improve Language Proficiency
The relationship between language and music is one of the most fascinating things in the world of psychology. A 2012 study pointed out that despite what previous research suggested, music and language are not separate functions in the brain. Traditionally, speech functions were thought to exist in the left hemisphere of the brain, while music functions existed in the right hemisphere. But today, it’s widely accepted that both hemispheres are responsible for music AND speech. What this means is that music functions can actually IMPROVE speech functions and vice versa. In a sense, both activities are working the same “muscle.”
5. Music Therapy Helps Children With Autism
Music has the ability to “light up” the entire brain, thus music therapy is an ideal choice for children with Autism. When both hemispheres are activated, children are self-aware while still forming relationships with others. Research has shown that this type of therapy is incredibly beneficial for Autistic children, as it encourages them to interact with their instrument AND communicates with others in a band, ultimately creating music in a collaborative effort.