Music has accompanied the human existence since the beginning of time, it has been used to shape culture and society, to give us entertainment and to even give emotion such as fear and excitement, it is an essential part of human life. People may not realize it but music is used in everyday life, everything is done with a rhythm whether it be anything from brushing teeth to walking or even writing or typing up a paper. Music affects everyone in different ways and has a physical and an emotional effect on everyone no matter what their age and no matter what the genre of music.
It is used in schools, workplaces, and tores just about anywhere a person could think, and there is a good reason for it, because everyone loves it. Although there are genres of music that have shown to have potentially negative effects on the brain, a majority of music has been shown to improve not only the brain but the body as well, music has been shown to improve cognitive function and learning development by strengthening neural networks, it relieves stress by reducing heart rate, and blood pressure, it has even been proven that music can help infants with health problems.
There have been many studies conducted that prove there is ome sort of link between learning music and students performance in school, “Children who undergo musical training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability and executive functions”(Ewa Miendlarzewska and Wiebke Trost). There have been many other studies surrounding this topic that also look at how listening to music can help with learning. What was found was that classical music had a positive impact whereas rock or metal music had more of a negative impact.
One study conducted by Gottfried Schlaug and his colleague Ellen Winner was designed o have two groups of children, one as a control group and the other as the experimental group, the experimental group began lessons to learn a musical instrument, they were matched with kids from their own neighborhood since they would have the same surroundings to form the control group. The two groups were tested on different auditory and motor skills, they were then tested after 16 months and the experimental group had obvious improvements where the control group did not show as much improvement with the skills(78 of book).
Researcher Barbara Helmrich conducted a study in six Baltimore high chools where she divided the students into three groups: those who had formal training on a musical instrument in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade; those who had coral instruction during those same years; and those who had no formal musical training at all. She found that the children who had musical training significantly outperformed the other group. She looked at algebra tests they had taken and the group that was given choral instruction had the best scores (81 in book).
Even as little as three years can have an impact on how well you learn, whether it be learning a musical instrument or singing in a choir, usic can be extremely beneficial. Not only can music help with learning abilities but it can also help with some health problems, “Classical music… can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing levels of stress hormones”(Jane Collingwood).
Music has been shown to calm people down, it allows people to focus and think about what they are doing to help relieve stress. Not only can it relieve stress but in some people with vision problems they have been able to use music to resolve some of their issue, 60 percent of people who have a troke have the visual areas of their brains affected, these patients lose awareness of objects but there have been studies conducted that show when they listen to their favorite types of music some of their visual attention is restored (“10 Magical Effects Music Has on the Mind”).
But that is not the only thing music can cure it has also been shown to improve some of those who have heart disease, “A review of 23 studies covering almost 1,500 patients found that listening to music reduced heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety in heart disease patients”(“10 Magical Effects Music Has on the Mind”). Music helps people going through treatments for heart disease and other diseases, it gives them a way for them to get away and relax.
Not only does it help patients who have had a stroke or have heart disease but it has also been shown to help with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and depression. They call this music therapy because music has a therapeutic affect on just about everyone. For most people music is a way to escape and for these patients it allows them to not have to focus on what is wrong. Music not only has an impact on adults and teenagers but it also has an impact on infants.
Premature infants receive the greatest proven benefit, ” infants will exhibit a greater decrease from baseline in HR, level of motor activity, and signs of behavioral distress during and for 10 minutes after exposure to a 15-minute live-music intervention than they will exhibit during and for 10 minutes after exposure to a no-music condition; and infants will exhibit a greater increase from baseline in oxygen saturation during and for 10 minutes after exposure to a 15-minute live-music intervention than they will exhibit during and for 10 minutes after exposure to a no-music condition”(Ashley Hodges).
Even with just as little as fifteen minutes of exposure to music it can have a great effect on an infant and its health. Music therapy gives premature babies a better chance of living. It is recommend by doctors because it has proven health benefits, “Overall, music helped improve the infants’ vital signs, sleep patterns and feeding”(Catherine Pearson). Playing music for a baby in the womb can show later effects as an infant, if music is played for a baby in the womb then may be more responsive to that song or to that person’s voice when they are an infant.
This may not seem like it would ave that much of an impact but it can help improve an infants’ ability to hear and their speech. Music does not always have beneficial effects, certain genres have been shown to cause the neural networks in the brain to get twisted and get weaker, “A study reported by the scripps Howard news service found that exposure to rock music causing abnormal neuron structures in the region of the brain associated with learning and memory(“Potential Negative Impact of Music”).
Not all music is beneficial to the brain and body, depending on what a person listens to it can negatively impact their brain. There have been umerous studies done on plants and animals such as rats to test the different genres of music on the brain, one done on rats showed that when the brains of one group who had been exposed to rock and heavy metal music had been dissected the neural networks and structures or their brains were twisted up compared to a group listening to classical music who had relatively strong neural networks and structures (“Potential Negative Impact of Music”).
Other studies done on plants show that those exposed to rock music had a slower growing rate than those that were exposed to classical music, it has also been hown that the plants exposed to rock music grow away from the speaker instead of growing in a normal direction (The Effect of Music on Plant Growth”). This though may not affect you at all it all depends on the music a person likes and what their brain likes, “A piece that is disturbing and upsetting to one person may have no or little injurious effect on another”(Roberto Assagioli).
This could explain why everyone likes different genres of music and why there is so many different genres of music. Music affects all of us differently, it does not matter what genre it is as long as it helps that person. Recent studies have shown that the positive effects of music outweigh the negative effects, music can improve the learning ies of people, it can help with certain health problems and it can even help with healing premature babies.
Music strengthens the brain and the body, and gives people a way to get away from whatever troubles them or is stressing them out, it can help people focus and it can help lift their spirits. Music has become such a big part of our culture, it is a way for everyone in the world to communicate their feelings and emotions. It is the unspoken language that everyone speaks and it is a part of everyone.