How music effects your brain is a question we have pondered for a long time. My friend and colleague has spent years researching and developing programs just for each of us to create a stronger more efficient brain!!! Thank you Alex Doman for all your contributions to this growing field and writing this exciting blog just for us!
Did music influence Michelangelo? If so, was it the sounding of a harmonic chord, the new musical aesthetic for the period? Did it contribute to the transformation of a block of Carrara marble into David, the masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture? What form would David have taken if sculpted in the 21st century, with such a broad range of music genres and styles? Lady Gaga anyone… These are the kinds of questions I cogitate in moments of quiet.
What profound influence music has on our physical, emotional, and intellectual development. Each of us is affected by sound’s physical properties; frequency, volume, timing, rhythm and melody. Sound has played a large role in shaping who we are and will become, including the music we were exposed to throughout our lives and choose to enjoy today.
Music is an effective mood regulator. If music feels really good the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a common neurotransmitter that is released in response to a rewarding activity such as eating food we enjoy, seeing a beautiful piece of art, and having sex. Research into music preferences shows the opposite is also true. Music we dislike causes stress, and in response the adrenal gland releases the stress hormone Cortisol which suppresses the immune system.
The brain changes associated with musical activity, through playing to and listening to music. As Michelangelo sculpted David, we too are sculptors, and music is our tool. Music sculpts our brains, promoting neuroplasticity, the brain’s naturally ability to change itself.
So what music should you select to sculpt your brain? Begin with music you enjoy, tunes that leave you feeling positive and which fit the activity you are engaged in.
• Need to relax? Choose soothing music with tempos below 60 beats per minute. Try different Classical, Smooth Jazz, and New Age music to begin.
• Time to focus? Instrumental music 50-90 bpm tends to work best. Baroque in particular, explore selections from Bach and Vivaldi.
• Time for high energy and productivity? Think upbeat, rhythm, tempos of 90 bpm and higher. Rock and Pop music with motivating lyrics may fit the bill.
Want to explore something more structured? Try Advanced Brain Technologies The Listening Program®. It is an evidence-based sound brain fitness program in which you listen to specially produced instrumental music, through headphones, 15-30 minutes per day. This music will help transform your brain; lowering stress, improving focus, and maximizing your productivity.
To learn more read Healing at the Speed of Sound or visit http://advancedbrain.com.
By Alex Doman
Founder & CEO Advanced Brain Technologies and author of Healing at the Speed of Sound