The Power of Music

The Power of Music

Lucy Burke, Contributor

Do like to listen to music? Well if you do that’s great! Many people across the world listen and play music. Music is a very relieving thing for the mind and body. It connects to us and makes us feel deep emotions. Music is a great way to connect with other people and express yourself. “There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says one Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist. Much research has been shown that music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain and help improve sleep, mood and memory.

But there is one question. How do we hear music? Well, what happens is a stereo system puts out vibrations that travel through the air and somehow get inside the ear canal. These vibrations tickle the eardrum and are transmitted into an electrical signal that travels through the auditory nerve to the brain stem, where it is reassembled into something we perceive as music.

Not only this, but Johns Hopkins researchers have had dozens of jazz performers and rappers improvise music while lying down inside an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) machine to watch and see which areas of their brains light up. “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,” notes one otolaryngologist.

Another fun fact about music is that if you can recall past memories from it. Certain songs might help you remember something from your past. Reach for familiar music, especially if it stems from the same time period that you are trying to recall. When listening to the music that was around during the time of your memory might help you remember what that memory was.

One last thing – not everyone enjoys the same music. Pay close attention to how you react to different forms of music, and pick the kind that works for you. What helps one person concentrate might be distracting to someone else, and what helps one person unwind might make another person jumpy.