Music is something that people all over the world connect to as it stimulates the brain. Have you ever wondered what music really does to the brain?
It is pretty remarkable how many different genres of music exist in the world. There’s a perfect song for every mood and every occasion! We celebrate with music, we grieve with music, we move with the music. The connection we have to music is certainly something to talk about.
Music and the Body
Okay, let’s dive right in! There is a feeling you get from listening to your favorite song. Tuning out the rest of the world, and tuning in on the sounds of the music instead. Our brain is stimulated by music and causes our bodies to respond in different ways.
Depending on the type of music, we may be inspired to get up and dance or choose to pause and listen. Perhaps you have experienced a rush of full-body goosebumps from the way a song made you feel. Music can certainly spark a physical response, but did you know listening to music is a mental workout too?
Listening to Music = Exercise for the Brain
The process of interpreting vibrations from the sounds we hear is what occurs inside your brain while listening to music. There is no object being physically transferred inside your ear canal in order to hear music. The sounds are travelling to you via vibrations. Those vibrations tickle the eardrum and send signals through the auditory nervous system to the brain. Then, those signals are reassembled inside the brain into something we perceive as music. There is a lot going on inside our brains to interpret the sounds we hear as music!
Here is a visual breaking down what is going on in the brain:
“Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it”– Johns Hopkins Otolaryngologist
Music Does Wonders for the Brain
Beyond the wondrous ability for our brain to perceive music and get a good mental workout, listening to music can also help regulate other key functions in the brain. The influence of music is truly wonderful for the overall health of the brain—shaping connections, improving our senses and movement, and even enhancing moods. It is recommended that people who are struggling with depression, PTDS, and/or anxiety listen to more music because it can help mold new thought patterns.
“The brain is not a static object. It is malleable and plastic, able to change its connections and activity based on a person’s experience. It turns out that music has a profound ability to mold the brain and its functioning. “– Brain Science Institute
Music therapy is a real concept that has real results. To gain a better understanding of it, click here.