The Different Ways Music Can Affect Us

Whether you want to sing to Stefanie Sun’s ballads, rock it out to Ronin and A Vacant Affair, or simply listen to classical pieces, music has a great effect on us as humans. There are songs that we can sing to when we are sad, while we are studying, when we are in love or heartbroken, even songs to dance to. Music can affect our mind, mood, and emotions in a lot of ways.


It has been found that many parts of the brain are involved when it comes to musical, also those that can specifically link music to memories. How music affects memory, though, comes from the state of relaxation we get from it, especially in classical music or just any music we like for that matter. One of the main causes of memory loss is stress. When we are stressed out, our brain carries an unnecessary burden. Listening to music can help to counter that because it keeps us calm and prompts the brain to let go of unwanted stress. Music that people are familiar with or those they particularly like can help reconnect people with their memories of the past.


Music has a vivid structure that engages the mind and arouses our emotions and mood, either for the better or for worse.  This simply means that music can affect our mood in a lot of different ways. Sometimes we can even feel more than one emotion in a song. When we listen to music, there is an increase in the amount of dopamine in our brain, which triggers both our reward and pleasure centers and leaving us in a better mood. Furthermore, music does not only affect how we will feel, but we also tend to choose to listen to music that fits with the mood we are already in. Whether it is being played or listened to by someone, music can always affect a person’s mood in some way.


A central idea in learning is that any kind of distraction can interfere with memory formation. When lyrics are present, the brain is dragged into to hear the words and thinking about their meaning. These thought processes will interfere with trying to memorize new information or recall previously learned. That is why it is not recommended to listen to songs with lyrics, even though many would say they feel okay with it. Classical music like that of Bach’s and Mozart’s have been observed to work particularly well with focus and concentration. Even upbeat popular music can motivate learning, especially the ones that encourage positive thinking. All in all, slower music can promote calmness and focus, while fast-paced music can help keep you alert.

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