Smart Tunes – How Music Benefits your Brain. Listen Up Now

Do any of you remember the “Macarena” pop song by Los del Rio in 1993.  If you do, you might remember sipping your cocktail and tapping your feet.  Across the room, a group of people jump off their chairs, put their hands on their hips and start the actions.  If you haven’t already started to tap your feet and nod your head, you will probably start to do it.  You decide that you want to be young and foolish once again.

You see this – this is what music does to us.  Do any of you remember “In the Mood” by Glen Miller.   This song was recorded in 1939 and was top of Charts in 1940.  When this song was played, it made people forget about the war and smile when the music was played.

My favourite artist of all time is Michael Jackson and when “Thriller” started to play, even though I might be feeing sad, I would always start to smile and tap my feet whilst dancing vigorously.

When you start to dance or tap your feet to music that you love, a range of processes starts to take place in your brain. The melody has passed through your brain stem to your Auditory Cortex and the centres that control physical activity.  Here we are, dancing along to our favourite music.  This stimulates hormones in our brain that benefits most where music and movement come together.  When we dance, we stimulate our blood stream whilst lowering our blood pressure and stress levels.  We enjoy it too!

Through music, we can experience very intense emotions, but in a safe way.  We can listen to it to enhance our moods and to achieve a different state of mind.  If we are sad, music can help us to process our emotions and generate such emotions as tenderness, nostalgia and wonder.

Does your favourite music help you with your emotions?  If you were on a desert island, what one piece of music would you choose to have with you?  Please comment below.