There’s no secret that music has been used for therapeutic purposes for mental relief, emotional and behavioral problems for centuries. Through scientific research, it has been proven that musical training changes the brain structure and function, for the better.
Improved long-term memory and brain development are only a few of the many cognitive benefits for playing an instrument, especially at a young age. Even if you don’t play an instrument, just by listening to soothing music you can decrease your blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels.
Researchers have found that listening to music engages areas of the brain that helps with concentration and making predictions. Composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach are especially influential assets to studying because the music techniques used by these composers helps organize incoming information.
However, there is a big difference between listening and playing music. Playing music requires fine motor skills which are controlled in both hemispheres of the brain, which combines linguistic and mathematical precisions. The area of the brain that has an increase in volume and activity while playing music is the corpus callosum, the bridge between both hemispheres. When this area is triggered, problem solving and creativity in both academic and social settings are engaged.
Music can be used as a solution where learning deficits may be apparent because it provides an outlet for student’s prospective creative abilities. Through music, students learn the importance of working in a team, communicating and enhance their concentration skills.
A University of Montreal study has proved that musicians are more mentally alert and have faster reaction times than those who do not play an instrument. The study suggests that since music involves multiple senses, for example violin players have to feel the string on their fingers and listen to the correct sounds to be produced when pressing on strings. Having a trained mind can reduce the reaction times of declining when reaching an elder age.
Over centuries, musicians have proved their high levels of functionalities. Music is essentially a trigger for retrieving memories.