Music & Memories
Music has long been a part of our lives. Some say music speaks to the soul and it’s been around since the days of early man. We all feel some inclination to a hypnotic rhythm. For most, music plays a big part in our lives, whether it is on our way to work, during our workout, or when we watch movies. It can elevate our mood, tell us a story or even make us sad.
Music makes us happier, even sad songs. This is because of how it is associated with our memories. This is why it has the power to enhance our emotions. While listening to music our brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is known for making us ‘feel good’.
It improves our quality of sleep. Stress and anxiety can interfere with our sleep, but since music can affect us in a positive way it can improve our sleeping patterns and create a restful sleep cycle.
It provides comfort. Listening to music as therapy has been used to help enhance coping, communication and expression of feelings such as fear, loneliness, and anger in patients who have a serious illness.
Music can raise IQ in younger children. Research showed that taking music lessons predicts higher academic performance and IQ in young children. In one study, 6-year-olds who took keyboard or singing lessons in small groups for 36 weeks had significantly larger increases in IQ and standardized educational test results than children who took either drama lessons or no lessons. The singing group did the best. So get those young ones into music or to learn an instrument.
Music can make you more creative and productive. It’s true. Since music can make you a happier, you can be a more productive employee, especially if you can choose your own music. Studies show that when office workers were allowed to listen to their preferred choice of music they completed tasks more quickly and come up with better ideas than those who have no control over their musical choices.
Background or instrumental music can also enhance performance on cognitive tasks, improves accuracy, and enables the completion of repetitive tasks more efficiently.
Since music is known to stimulate parts of the brain, studies showed that it can help improve your memory overall especially in Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients.
Dementia is not a specific disease, it is a term used to describe a series of symptoms associated with memory loss, while Alzheimer’s is a type of Dementia that causes memory loss, thinking and behavior that can be serious enough to interfere with everyday life.
It is important to know that there are also non-permanent causes of declining memories such as age, stress, depression, grief and anxiety. These are all emotional causes that can be reversed if treated correctly.
Neuromusicology is the study of how music affects your brain and body. When music enters the inner ear, it engages many different areas of our brain, which also controls the different cognitive functions. The number of areas in the brain that activated by music can vary from person to person, depending on your musical training and your personal experiences with music. This means that how music impacts your ability to concentrate or feel a certain emotion can be expected to vary from person to person, too.