Updated: Jan 11, 2020
Music is an art that consist of many artistic, aesthetic, therapeutic qualities, evoking a number of emotions regardless of nationality, social status, profession, age or gender. Directly or indirectly - music can be an important source of influence and behaviour modification. Music stimulates the development since the prenatal period, shapes the human sensitivity to aesthetic values, systematises interpersonal communication, motivates to undertake various activities and modifies the emotional state in formal and informal situations.
The field of neurobiology of music is highly specialized. Music has major effects on many aspects of health, ranging from memory and mood to cardiovascular function and athletic performance. Listening to properly selected music improves the quality of life, reduces stress and pain perception.
The phenomenon of therapeutic effects of music on the human psyche has been known since the earliest history of humanity. The earliest theories about the aesthetic qualities of music and its educational possibilities were created back in ancient times. Music therapy is currently a field taught at universities, and its effectiveness has been confirmed by numerous scientific researches. It is considered as a form of psychotherapy that exerts a therapeutic effect on a patient, fulfilling the role of a universal therapeutic agent that would be useful both for the purposes of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, without causing any side effects that often occur with pharmacological agents.
A study at Drexel University has shown the effect of music played by doctors or nurses for cancer patients, suggesting various positive effects - including reduction of anxiety and fatigue. It has also been proven that listening to music helps in learning and can contribute to students receiving better grades. Many researchers believe that people who create and listen to music have better communication between the right and left half of the brain.
Music is like an activator of thought processes that take place in the brain. It is particularly visible on the example of the so-called "Mozart Effect" - it was stated that listening to classical music, especially by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, increased the results of intelligence tests by at least one point. In another experiment, conducted on rats, it was found that animals that were put on classical music coped better with the maze. In fact, by simply listening to classical music as background noise can have a significant impact on your mood, productivity, and creativity.
Another study performed at the University of California, Irvine, has shown how listening to music enhances the mental performance. Researchers administered standard IQ test questions to three groups of college students, comparing those who had spent 10 minutes listening to a Mozart piano sonata with a group that had been listening to a relaxation tape and one that had been waiting in silence. Mozart seemed to consistently boost the test scores. Mozart's music was then compared with repetitive music by Philip Glass; again, Mozart seemed to help, improving spatial reasoning as measured by complex paper cutting and folding tasks and short-term
It is therefore highly encouraged to listen to music while studying,
- especially during long study sessions, since music can aid endurance.
In some cases, students have found that music helps them with memorisation, likely by creating a positive mood, which indirectly boosts memory formation.