Using Music As An Emotional Tool


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Music is an art form whose purpose is to communicate an emotional response. This is something that many people have noticed, since certain songs can make one feel happy, and others might make one feel sad. But the emotional response that people have to music runs deeper than one might expect. In fact, scientists have noted just how music can activate certain areas in the brain and can be used as a tool for emotional health. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Kent State University’s Masters in Music Education program.

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How Music Can Be Used As An Emotional Tool

Music is effective as a cross-modal tool is because of its stimulating abilities. Music can make the brain’s hippocampus release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine is usually referred to as a ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, which helps a person feel pleasure. The study actually compared the feeling that music provides to things like food or even sex.

Music can also be an effective mood setter in several different ways. In fact, a study showed that music that is both beautiful and sad can make one feel a little happier. This may happen because the beauty of the song beautifies the sad part of the song. In essence, the music will convince the listener that things are not so bad.

Another thing that might be interesting is that music can give a listener a sixth sense. It is peculiar to see that a person can sense if someone is sad or happy when the listener hears sad or happy music. The person must hear happy music to be in tune with happy people and sad music to be in tune with sad people. This implies that there is an interesting connection between people and music.

Music does something miraculous for stroke victims with unilateral neglect. That neglect, or disconnection with the world, can be remedied by music–according to a study. But the truth is the only type of music that seems to have an effect on stroke victims is classical music, like Bach or Mozart, though there are other choices.

It might be interesting to find out that short excerpts of music strategically placed can have a substantial emotional effect on people. Perhaps this is the reason that propaganda or commercials are so effective in connecting an emotional response to a particular brand. But this technique is not only used in propaganda because you might also find it on shows, theater, or even film.

The truth is the brain processes negative music on the right hemisphere of the brain, while positive music is processed on the left. The right side of the brain is in charge of helping the body’s inner-workings, as well as appreciating art and the left side of the brain is responsible for tasks that deal with logic or mathematics. It is clear that music affects the body in different ways.

Real Interactions Between the World and Music

Music is such a big part of everyday life that even big corporations use it to influence people in more ways that one can imagine. For one, music played in a store can make you shop longer or shorter. Slow tempo music helps a consumer spend about 38 percent more time shopping in a grocery store or retail store.

Believe it or not, music can help a person eat a little quicker or slower. Music, not only affects one’s appetite, but it can also encourage people to drink a little more. Slower tempo music, which has 72 or less beats per minute might make one drink a little more. Fast tempo music can help a group of drinkers drink less. Slow tempo helps consumers spend about 40 percent more than they would otherwise, so it makes sense that bars play chill-out or slow music for their patrons.

Ninety-four beats per minute (or more) helps customers eat a little faster. If a patron eats quickly, this will free up space for the next possible patron.

Music Can Affect People As They Work

Remember that music can improve mood, and it is this benefit that helps an employee work more efficiently. This is because a happy employee can concentrate better and also work faster. Stress, on the other hand, can disrupt one’s ability to concentrate. In fact, a survey showed that about 77 percent of businesses say that playing music improves morale and atmosphere.

How Music Can Help With Early Childhood Development

Music can play a big role in the development of a child. In fact, experts say that music helps a child learn about emotional subtleties and behavioral skills.

But the power of music does not stop there because it also helps a child become more socially cohesive. It helps children gain self-reliant skills as well as increase positive vibes within the classroom. And teachers know that a positive atmosphere creates a lesson-friendly environment.

Teachers and savvy parents also use music to help a child learn about complex issues. Music helps prepare a child to learn and help them understand challenging concepts. Language is another thing that can be enhanced by music. This could all be due to the enhanced cognitive functions that occur with upbeat music. In fact, studies have shown that music may actually help a child learn to read quicker.

Remember that students who have won academic decathlons regarding mathematics or science have–for the most part–played one instrument. There are a lot of things that can explain this phenomenon, like how the premotor cortex of the brain processes beats and is also associated with attention.

Perhaps there is a good reason why 120 infants between the ages of 5 to 24 months are more interested in rhythm than they are in speech.

Music offers a wealth of benefits to mankind. Once people are aware of these gifts, they can use them to enhance every part of their lives.

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