The world has always had a love affair with music. At one point, people played music and danced for the ancient Gods. At another time, people tried to use music to change the weather. It was not always the same instruments. Sometimes it was so elemental that all people used was their mouths and hands to create the tune. One thing is certain, from ancient times to modern times, people have created some pretty sweet music.
Why is it so important for us to hear music? A high school student spoke about what distracts him the most during his class lecture. He said it was usually a song that was stuck in his head. What is so engaging about music? A study that involved over 400 research papers concluded that music has benefits for both the mind and body. The research was headed by Professor Daniel J. Levitin who belongs to the department of Psychology at McGill University. Music affected us in four major ways: mood, stress, immunity, and our ability to socially bond.
Regarding our immunity, music has a pretty interesting effect on the body. For one, it increases our levels of immunoglobulin A, which happens to be quite the nifty antibody. This antibody is a critical component within the immunity of the mucous system. The natural killer cell counts are also elevated. These little critters within the body are what attacks and demolishes invading germs and bacteria. In regards to stress, another researcher found something quite interesting. The name of this researcher is Dr. Mona Lisa Chanda, and what she found was that music lowers our levels of cortisol. What is cortisol? That happens to be the natural stress hormone within our bodies.
Another study done by the Mayo Clinic points out that music actually reduces physical pain. Another interesting thing that the Mayo Clinic found was that music actually gives us a memory boost. Another study done by the Journal of Psychology and Aging, found that music is associated with better sound processing. This proves fundamental against loosing our hearing ability as we age. The University of Maryland Medical Center found that listening to music affects the blood vessel inner linings by increasing dilation. What does all that mean? Listening to music aids the overall health of our hearts.
The Journal of Neoropsychology found that having some kind of musical training actually increases and protects the sharpness of our minds! Maybe that high school student was on to something? Perhaps he would be better advised to use music when he really needs it. Maybe listening to music before a lecture will increase his mental acuteness and attentiveness. If you listen to music right before a major test, it just might reduce stress and anxiety! Wow. Music, an essential string in the fabric of life.