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DOES MUSIC REALLY MAKE US INTELLIGENT?

Press play, Bach & Yo-Yo Ma’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major: Allemande

Music affects us in ways we cannot imagine. It is a vital cog in stabilizing our mood, thought process, and search for calmness and solitude, especially when everything seems to shout at us in close proximity. They can lend us words when our own words fail us. It conveys the emotions and feelings we bear and put them into words.

Every strum of strings heard and every flick of a piano key felt. Music speaks to us through a language we can’t speak with anyone else, and that makes it so beautiful. It gives us the power to amplify ourselves. It allows us to make it personal – like a friend trying to let us know that they know what we feel, what we don’t say, and what we want to hear.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In a world filled with overlapping background noises, through music, everything seems calm and bearable. But what does Science really say about the effects of music on our brains? Does it ever make you wonder how our brains distinguish noise from music and how our body produces responses depending on the music we are tuned in to?

What do experts say?

Various articles and research, including one from Harvard Health Publishing, explain how music could enhance human health and performance. Our good pals from the classical side of things like Bach, Debussy, Beethoven, and of course, Mozart have been linked and used to many pieces of research discussing music’s curative powers.

Photo from CR Fashion Book

There was even a phenomenon called Mozart’s Effect for newborns and children. It generally claims that listening to Wolfang Amadeus’ ingenious music could lead to brain development and enhanced brain function or, well, make one more intelligent. Science, of course, debunked this phenomenon as the effects only last for a few minutes and do not improve one’s IQ, but you could still find some research with mixed responses and conclusions.

For classical music, it does help in making us feel calm and relaxed, especially in times of anxiety or stress. Scientists suggest that music could significantly aid us when we like what we are listening to. For them to work, you will have to listen to something that could promote enjoyment and engagement either by singing along, dancing, or just tip-toeing. Whether you listen to classical or heavy metal music, so long as it’s something that you enjoy, you can use it to stimulate your brain.  

So, does music actually help?

One thing is for sure; music is a good tool for cognitive arousal. Whether it be classical, pop, funk, or rock, all of them do the job. The main goal is to fire up our brain to put it in an active state. When our brain is actively working, our efficiency level increases. It could then lead to better performance at work or at school.

By listening to music, we are giving our brains a much-needed workout. Just like our physical body, our brain needs exercise too to stay sharp and youthful. It is important to remember that what’s beneficial is not the music itself but how we use it.

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