As a teenager, I could sit for hours at end and study with music playing in the background. When I look back at those memories I am intrigued by the question how could I concentrate while listening to my favourite songs.
Well my curiosity lead me to do some in-depth research! Psychologists, neuroscientists and researchers have done extensive study in the field of memory and music.
A Stanford study found that "music moves [the] brain to pay attention." Researchers found that "music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory" (Baker).
Consolidating my findings I present to you how music is beneficial for us.
Stress has always been an old friend and enemy of human beings.
Music is a powerful tool to reduce stress and anxiety. Listening to soft and slow music induces calmness over mind and body. During exam time or any time when one is overwhelmed tuning into music which is relatable is cathartic (releases pent up emotions). Relaxing music (instrumental) leads to production of happy hormone "dopamine". Dancing, singing, producing and playing music is related to endorphin release.
Memory is the mental capacity for storage and retrieval of information. And music certainly affects our memory.
Since memory is better consolidated when we experience positive emotions, listening to "your type" of music generates feel good neurotransmitter! A lot of studies have been done on the effect of music on memory. The Mozart effect and the Vivaldi effect are a few examples of how music without distracting lyrics can lead to deeper concentration. In my personal experience solving mathematical problems with calming music in the background proved to be beneficial. I can certainly list down the songs but to each their own is a better option.
Our emotions, needs and desires make us human. There are days when we are highly motivated and
There are times when our motivation is at abysmal depths.
Grooving to inspirational high octane tracks lifts our spirits and is positively motivating. I can recall so many times when I have faced disappointment and felt highly demotivated. During those times I have turned to uplifting music and honestly felt a surge of energy propelling me to put in my best effort.
I noticed an interesting fact, listening to English songs over a period of time has lead me to clearly hear the lyrics and understand the true meaning behind the choice of words.
Music can improve your language skills. Listening to songs and trying to make sense of the lyrics expands vocabulary and enhances active listening. Music gives expression to our inner feelings.It helps us in putting forth our thoughts lucidly.
"Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame!"
Lyrics like these have far greater impact than plain and simple words.
According to science daily, structured music lessons significantly enhance children's cognitive abilities -- including language-based reasoning, short-term memory, planning and inhibition -- which lead to improved academic performance.
Music is nothing short of therapy belting out of speakers.
So surround yourself with music and feel its calming and elevating effect as rightly said by an American solider John Logan "Music is the medicine of the mind." It increases our concentration, our memory and it soothes our soul.
Time to put on your favourite tracks and dance your blues away Hasta la Vista!
Authored by: Prof. Anuradha Singh