Sunday - Oct 17, 2021

How Music Can Help your Brain?

musical therapy

Playing or listening to music particularly classical and jazz gives you a soothing and relaxing feeling. Music can stimulate a rewarding and vibrant feeling that brightens up your dull or monotonous day.  Music can also bring out an intense or special feeling within you particularly if you can associate a lyric of the song to the recent or past events in your life.

There are many studies that were published that determines how music can help improve brain functioning. The events that are happening in the brain are exciting phenomena that scientist wants to uncover. How music stimulates and impacts the brain is one of the many researchers that are being studied to understand how complex the brain works. Scientist is looking forward to discover more potential medical benefits of listening to music.

Musicians Have Biologically Younger Brain

A recent study that was published in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals that playing musical instrument at a younger age can help a person to become healthier in their later lives.  If you are a musician or you just love playing music since childhood, you can have the guts to say that your brain is in great shape.

According to Dr. Nina Kraus, a professor of Neurobiology at the Northwestern University, they found out that older adult who loves playing music shows a younger biological brain. The research findings showed that since the brain is so engaged in the cognitive sensory and reward system while playing the music, it seems that it helps strengthens the circuits of the brain.  The brain circuits that work for music are very important for language function.


Playing Music While Exercising Stimulates the Brain

Not only classical or jazz music can help stimulates the brain, in fact listening to beat music while exercising can also excite your brain. Scientist believed that listening to music while doing your work-out is beneficial to your brain functioning.  According to Neuroscientist, dancing into the rhythm can help boost your motor performance.

BEAT-HEALTH is an EU-funded project which was launched last October 2013; it was designed to get benefit from the effects of music on the improvement of motor functioning.  The project focuses on the benefits of music stimulation in improving mobility and gait. This is beneficial for people who are having motor skill or motor coordination disorder which is a developmental disorder that impairs a person’s motor coordination in performing their day-to-day activities.

Motor skill coordination disorder is a result of disorganized or weak connections in the human brain that leads to poor coordination of motor movements. Parkinson’s disease for example is a familiar degenerative disorder of the CNS or central nervous system. In the onset of the disease, patient suffers movement-related symptoms such as difficulty in walking, rigidity, shaking, and slowness of movement.

Patients who are having motor coordination disorder are given such kind of therapy to help them improve their motor skills and lessen the occurrence of such symptoms.  It may not stop the onset of the disease, but it may help slow-down the potential effects of the degenerative disorders.

Music Can Cure You

The effect of music on the human brain is limitless. Scientist are baffled on how tremendous the effects of music on various areas of human life. Music can do so much more beyond what people can imagine.

Professor and Director, Michael Huckabee of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Division of Physician Assistant Education stressed that music can do a lot to your brain beyond what people could comprehend.  Some people may think it is a kind of distraction or endorphin-release activity, but Dr. Huckabee believed that it is more than that.  Most people believed that music is good for the health, but scientist are surprised to know that the potential health benefits of music is keep on getting better, as more studies are being conducted.

Professor Huckabee also shares a patient with dementia who experiences depression and seizures.  He lived for 10 years in a nursing home.  Clinicians observed that when he listens to music, his behaviour improved and he began to talk to people about how he loves music and how it affects him.

Researchers from Taiwan who reviewed more than 360 published music therapy studies concluded that cancer patients who regularly listens to music shows significantly fewer signs and symptoms of pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression.  

In a study conducted by Levitin and colleagues, they had a meta-analysis of 400 different studies published in Cognitive Sciences. They wanted to know whether listening to music makes one feel good and if music can give people a physiological benefit. The result of their findings was remarkable.

In one of the study that they reviewed, they found out a study about patients who will undergo a surgery.  Patients were randomly assigned to take anti-anxiety drugs while the other group listened to music.  Scientist asked the patients to rate their anxiety levels, at the same time they also tested the cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress-releasing hormone.

The result showed that patients who had less anxiety are those who listened to music.  They also have lower cortisol level as compared to those who took anti-anxiety drugs. The researcher noted that further study should be conducted to confirm the validity of the result, but nevertheless, the study pointed out the potential medicinal effect of music to help cure or alleviate some illness.