For the past couple of weeks, we have talked about how music affects the brain. Last week we discussed the Mozart Theory and how studies have shown that listening to Mozart can boost the brain’s spatial reasoning skills. However, The Mozart Theory was based on a study of strictly classical music. There is a multitude of other musical genres out there. What effect do those have on our brains?
From classical music to heavy metal, we’re going to review a wide range of musical tastes and see how they can help us increase productivity, boost mood, and cope with daily struggles. Since there’s a lot of ground to cover, we’re going to split this up into two parts. This week we’re going to talk about classical, pop, and rap music. Let’s begin.
We talked about how Mozart can improve spatial reasoning skills, but what does Classical Music as a whole do for us? On a biological level, classical music releases dopamine that helps to calm us and bring pleasure. Psychologically, classical music has a calming effect on listeners. One study has shown that stroke patients experienced improved visual attention while listening to classical music, compared to patients who had no music to listen to at all. Practical applications of classical music include stress release, boost productivity, increase focus, and even improve public safety. Studies have shown that the natural calm brought by the sound of classical music has proven to be an effective crime deterrent in high traffic areas such as bustling train stations.
It’s catchy. It’s fun. Pop music makes us want to dance and sing, which may be a distraction for tasks that require focus like studying, but this musical genre does serve a purpose. With simplistic song structure and predictable beats and hooks, pop music offers an uncomplicated endorphin rush that boosts our mood and energy levels. Best for tasks that require minimal focus such as cleaning or exercising, pop music is an effective tool to keep us happy and motivated.
Similar to pop in its musical simplicity, rap music is known to not only correlated with advanced vocabulary mastery but has also been shown to increase self-identity and encourage personal perseverance. Despite the genre’s reputation for violence, this style of music has gained worldwide notoriety for its reputation for telling stories about survival, redemption, and personal growth. These stories resonate with its listeners inspiring and encouraging them to push through their trials. So, if you’re feeling a little down or overwhelmed about your life, turn on some rap to help you push through.
Next week we’ll be talking about the effects and practical applications of country music, jazz music, and heavy metal. Make sure you join our mailing list and have it delivered straight to your inbox.
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