January 19, 2012
As junior Crayden Goh studies for his next test, he listens to his favorite Hip-Hop artists. Listening to his favorite rappers helps him calm down and focus on his work. Studies on music show several affects on the brain and body. Music can change peoples’ moods and physical movements at the same time. Thoughts and emotions can be invoked by music depending on the type of messages the music conveys.
“When I listen to this music, it helps me focus on whatever I’m doing and helps me think,” Goh said.
Studying while having music in the background can increase productivity because of the rhythm and beat. Rhythm organizes physical movements in the body such as heartbeat, walking, and breathing. Music can change a person’s mood when listening to the beat. From studies, listening to slow music has been shown to slow a person’s heartbeat and breathing, while faster tempo music did the opposite. The heart responds to music by adjusting to the rhythm, which will cause the body to become more relaxed with the tempo. As the body calms down it relieves stress and it becomes easier to focus on tasks.
“I pay more attention to detail, and all the little things,” junior Jessilee Shipman said.
Music can also affect the brain’s ability to retain information. Both the left and right sides of the brain work more efficiently. The left processes information and the right engages with the music. Research shows the average amount of students involved in instrumental music score higher on mathematical tests than students who aren’t involved. It can also help people keep an open mind as they are exposed to different forms of music.
“I think growing up, experiencing different music and deciding what I like and what I don’t like is why everyone is so different. Even my best friends don’t have the exact musical preference I do,” Shipman said.
Each person might experience a different reaction to music, an experienced musician or listener might hear a piece of music differently from someone who doesn’t play any instruments. As a percussionist, playing the drums helped Shipman develop an ear for tone. As she learned to play the drums, it also developed her musical taste. She keeps an open mind to all types of music and doesn’t limit herself to one genre.
“When I listen to Indie rock music I relax, if it’s soothing. It’s hard to be upset when the perfect song is on, it can make me happy if it is upbeat and stuff,” Shipman said.
Music Psychology shows it can have positive effects on the brain and on how people think. Music can help build self-esteem for students who have trouble connecting with other people. It can also reduce headaches and the severity of migraines. For Shipman, it helps her enter a better mood and think more positively. Whenever she has the chance, she plugs in headphones and relaxes.
“Music is a strong influence, listening to one song might not do anything but added up they can change someones’ personality,” Goh said.