Music is a science. Music is also a therapy. These two concepts of music are both correct, but it is the power of music that makes it such a popular practice to calm the soul. Have you ever thought of the first time you heard a lullaby?
It started to soothe the soul, and now the soul is still trying to find the same calmness in music. Music remains an important aspect of every soul, and music is an important aspect of life today.
Music is therapeutic, there is no doubt about that. We will demonstrate it to you in the following article through several impressive stories that mix art and science. Find out!
Remember what you feel when you’re driving and a song you love sounds on the radio, or the feeling that invades you every time you listen to a song from your childhood, or that melancholy that embraces you when you hear the ballad you danced with a special person that you already is not in your life.
Music provokes feelings, sensations, joy and sadness, melancholy. It evokes memories, good and bad.
The impact of musical learning on the brain
Most brain areas, both cortical and subcortical, are involved in music learning. This affects the various cognitive functions that these regions support, especially in oral language.
Music promotes neuroplasticity, especially during childhood. Children who receive music classes are more proficient in language learning, reading and visuospatial activities.
It also improves various cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, and executive functions. In this way, it modifies the brain structure.
But, as has been seen, it is not enough to learn music to benefit from its effects on executive functions: it must continue to be practiced throughout life.
Human beings live with music at all times. It is an art that makes us enjoy pleasant times, encourages us to remember past events, makes us share emotions in group songs, concerts or sports stands.
But that which is quite natural, occurs through complex and surprising neural mechanisms. That is why from the neurosciences we often ask ourselves this question: what does music do to our brain?
Music seems to have an extensive past, as much or more than verbal language. Proof of this are the archaeological finds of flutes built with bird bone, whose antiquity is estimated at 6,000 to 8,000 years, or even older than other instruments that could precede.
There are various theories about this intimate coexistence with music in evolution. Some of these occurred because when studying the brain’s response to music, the key areas that are involved are those of control and execution of movements.
One of the hypotheses posits that this is why music developed: to help us all move together. And the reason this would have an evolutionary benefit is that when people move in unison they tend to act more altruistically and be more united.
Some scientists, in turn, suggest that the influence of music on us may have arisen from a fortuitous event, due to its ability to kidnapbrain systems built for other purposes, such as language, emotion, and movement.
We listen to music from the cradle or even in the gestation period. Babies, in the first months of life, have the ability to respond to melodies before verbal communication from their parents.
Soft musical sounds relax them. It is known, for example, that sleep-deprived premature infants benefit from the mother’s heartbeat or sounds that mimic it.
Music is considered among the elements that cause more pleasure in life. It releases dopamine in the brain just like food, sex, and drugs do.
All of them are stimuli that depend on a subcortical brain circuit in the limbic system, that is, that system formed by brain structures that manage physiological responses to emotional stimuli;
particularly the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens and their connections to the prefrontal area. The studies that show activation before the mentioned stimuli reveal an important overlap between the areas, which suggests that they all activate a common system.