by Michael Strickland
Music can often make or break a day. It can change your mood, amp you up for exercise, and help you recover from injury. But how does it work exactly, and how can you use it to your advantage? writes Thorin Klosowski on LifeHacker.
According to the Brain Based Biz blog:
In a three year research study, Maya Ruvinshteyn and Leonard Parrino, instructors in math at Essex County College and Rutgers-Newark, found when they played baroque background music in their classes, it made a difference. Here's how...
86 % of students surveyed enjoyed class more with baroque background music whereas 76 % of students without any music found the class enjoyable
33 % of students found math challenging whereas 46 % in the class without the baroque music found it challenging.
Earlier research findings show that Baroque music enhances learning of foreign languages and improves performance in some types of tests.
Why Baroque Music? Research reveals that Baroque music pulses between 50 to 80 beats per minute. Baroque music "stabilizes mental, physical and emotional rhythms," according to Chris Boyd Brewer, "to attain a state of deep concentration and focus in which large amounts of content information can be processed and learned."
Music affects your brain waves. Slower baroques, such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi or Corelli, can create mentally stimulating environments for creativity and new innovations. Alpha brain waves originate from the occipital lobe during periods of relaxation. As you relax you can move out of stressors that otherwise impede your creativity, the study says.
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Performing music has been proven to increase memory and language skills, but for listeners, it's better used as a means to recall memories. It has been shown in Alzheimer's patients to help with memory recall, and even restore cognitive function. It works for Alzheimer's patients in the same way it works in everyone else, according to Klosowski.
When you listen to music you know, it stimulates the hippocampus, which handles long-term storage in the brain. Doing so can also bring out relevant memories you made while listening to a particular song. So, even though the Mozart-effect has essentially been disproven, the idea that forming a new memory with music, and then using the same music again later to recall the memory still appears to be a sound idea. If you're having trouble remembering something, you might have better luck if you play the same music you were listening to when you first made the thought.
Such uses of music need further exploring as we travel the road to success.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matthias Manasi, Dirigent; Deutschland - Konzert mit dem Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma im Auditorium Conciliazione in Rom. SOURCE: Wiki Commons