When music impinges on Brain

Dr. Shveata Misra

“Without music Life would be a mistake.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
Music is an important ingredient in the recipe of life. It affects the brain in many positive ways. Music is providential either by playing or listening. It makes you happier, smarter and more productive at any age whether it’s maternal singing, during adolescents, adulthood or even at an older age. Music has always been a great company for all in various situations, during all the emotions and phases of life. People around the world experience universal responses to music. The singing of the birds, the sounds of the endless waves of the sea, the magical sounds of drops of rain, the murmur of the trees – these are all music. Without an appreciative mind, these sounds are meaningless. So music has a meaning and music needs a mind to appreciate it.
Brain has the ability to change throughout the life. Dopamine is a chemical released by our brains when we feel the pleasure by different means.  The same is the anticipation with music. When music hits us the brain releases Dopamine Chemical that turns us into a pleasurable state of mind.
*Music, Brain and Emotion
We can usually pick if a piece of music is particularly happy or sad, but this isn’t just a subjective idea that comes from how it makes us feel. In fact, our brains actually respond differently to happy and sad music.
Even short pieces of happy or sad music can affect us. One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. This also happened with other facial expressions, but was most notable for those that were close to neutral.
Something else that’s really interesting about how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kinds of emotions related to music: perceived emotions and felt emotions.
This means that sometimes we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling them, which explains why some of us find listening to sad music enjoyable, rather than depressing.
Unlike in real life situations, we don’t feel any real threat or danger when listening to music, so we can perceive the related emotions without truly feeling them-almost like vicarious emotions.
*Musically inclined motor and reasoning skills
Music though has been considered for a therapeutic and meditation purposes. But apart from this, there have been many unforeseen impact of music on the one who is practicing music either in the form of vocal or instrumental.
Music practice that’s being performed by person of any age can improve the vocabulary and nonverbal reasoning skills which involves the understanding and analyzing visual information like identifying the patterns and shapes.
It has been also found that practicing music can also improve auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills. We should inculcate this miraculous music into our lives either in instrumentally or vocally.
*Music and driving
We prefer listening to music while driving. Music distracts us from the exhaustion caused during the long drives. But it has been found that listening preferred music causes driver to make more mistakes and found to be driving more aggressively. Thence it would be more beneficial and safe if driver listens to the unfamiliar music!
(The author is Ph.D Psychology of Music)