Music and the Brain: the Greatest Collaboration Essay

Submitted By SweetiePie453
Words: 1885
Pages: 8

Music and the Brain: The Greatest Collaboration For thousands of years, music has been used for various reasons besides for one's listening pleasures. It has been used for entertainment, religious ceremonies, and even therapy. Music is an essential part of one's life because of its beneficial factors. The way music affects the brain is an extraordinary phenomenon. Research has proven that music and its effect on the brain benefit the ones who listen to it. Therapy involving music whether it includes voices, various timbres, tones, or instruments helps many people cope with their diseases no matter the severity. Besides coping with diseases, music also helps lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and much more. Music used for therapy or other purposes benefits the listener because of the effect it has on the brain. All are not in favor of the idea that music is a positive factor. Some argue that certain types of music affect the brain in a negative way. Those who argue that believe that the types of music that cause these negative vibes are those of the rap genre and the heavy rock genre (Effects of Music on the Brain par. 7). Another source also agrees that music with violent lyrics place a negative impact on people, more specifically, teenagers. Violent lyrics or those filled with sexual notations are the ones pinpointed by the negativity of some. A teen supposedly committed suicide while listening to a popular rock band, Pink Floyd; where the lyrics of the song are said to be the reason why he killed himself (Wight par. 7). Although there is a significant amount of research on the negative effects of music, there is more research on the positive effects. For ages, music therapy has been used to treat a variety of neurological conditions from Alzheimer’s to depression. Science and studies all but confirms that humans are ‘hand-wired’ to respond to music. For example, in a study conducted in 1990 by Sheila Woodward, a South African scientist, it was found that even the unborn has a reaction towards music. In the study, a waterproof microphone called a hydrophone was inserted inside of a pregnant woman’s womb through the cervix (Mannes par. 4). The hydrophone was placed next to the unborn child’s neck and recorded every audible sound that could be heard from the womb. The results were that the baby responded to the music that was being played. When harsh music like rock and roll was played, the child would respond by pushing against the womb as if it was being disturbed, but when calming, relaxing music was being played like classical music, the child calmed and was still. This phenomenal research proves that even the ones not in this world are effected by the music listened to. If an unborn child can respond negatively and positively than so can the ones in the world like teenagers, adults, elders, and the debilitated. Recently, new studies have shown what actually takes places in the brain while the patient listens to music. The studies show that patients with Parkinson’s or those who have suffered from a stroke benefit from music because the brain responds to highly rhythmic music. Those who have issues with balance can listen to music and coordinate their steps with the music they listen to, which in turn improves the way they walk. Rick Bausman once said “Actually playing music, which requires coordinating muscle movements and developing an ear for timing, can also bring dramatic results” (Shulman par. 4). Bausman holds group sessions where he teaches his students to play along with the tunes from Afro-Caribbean beats. Research shows that those group sessions help patients or participants with motor control (Shulman par. 5). Once the patients stopped with the group music sessions, the progress ended and it was noted that to continue with improvements there was a need for continuous music therapy. Another technique that was found to be helpful is melodic intonation therapy. It is effective because