Friday, February 19, 2016

Psychology of Music

     There’s more to why humans enjoy music than just the melodic rhythms or harmonious beats. Several receptors inside our brain send signals that have us respond to unique musical qualities such as sound, tempo, and lyrics. Our brains interpret the music and decide what we like and what we don’t like facilitating bodily reactions and physical sensations. 

      Numerous parts of the brain are activated while listening to music. The motor cortex and the cerebellum are involved in movement while dancing or playing an instrument. The prefrontal cortex controls behavior, expression and decision making, therefore creating expectations of the music.  The nucleus accumbens and amygdala manage emotional reactions to music. The sensory cortex controls the physical feeling we feel playing instruments or dancing, while the auditory cortex listens to sounds and then distinguishes and evaluates the pitch. The hippocampus develops musical memories, experiences and perspectives. The right hemisphere is used when we hear songs with an assortment of sounds. The left hemisphere is triggered when learning music notes, scales and symbols. 

     Most people are introduced to music as a child which begins a process of “stimulation” at a young age. Neurologists and musicians have studied and discovered that music intensifies the areas of the brain stated above. Because they evoke mental and emotional triggers, music is related to increasing self-esteem. Music education inspires and influences young adolescents to focus in school which is why emphasis on music and arts is always so important. Children that learn to study music have advanced capabilities to learn foreign languages, read their native language, and have good mathematic skills.   Music also empowers children to articulate their thoughts, tolerate criticism, and betters their analytical thinking and problem solving abilities. Young music listeners are generally better teammates, more peaceful and helpful.