There are many things that work to unite us. Unfortunately, there are often even more things that divide us. In our current society, almost any topic can create division. Happily, there is one thing in life that can draw many of us together, if we allow it. There is truly a universal language. Music is both beauty and power in one.
Music is the Sound Track of Memories
As a child growing up, most of us are exposed to a several different genres of music. Our parents may have had different tastes in music, but nevertheless, most of us have memories of music in the background of our early years. As we grew up, chances are we can recall popular songs from movies and television shows that appealed to us.
Many momentous moments are entwined with a certain song. Many artists purposely highlight certain rites of passage with a particular song that captures a feeling or special occasion. All of us can instantly recall where we were and what we were doing when we hear a familiar melody. There is a reason that music resonates so deeply within that something special inside all of us.
Music Directly Affects Our Brains
Researchers are always trying to learn the answers to questions that puzzle us. One of those is how and why music has such an impact in our lives. One of the first facts that scientists have confirmed is that music has a positive impact on our brains. The right music releases dopamine which is a mood booster. Those who play music that suits their moods are shown to be more creative and productive. Scientists have also learned that those who are suffering the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s Disease are still able to recognize music that appeals to them.
Want a more productive workout? Put on music that is upbeat and makes you want to move. Music that matches a movement works to take our minds off of the difficulty of the exercise and allows us to focus on our goal of productive movement.
The Ultimate Brain Food
Thought fish was necessary for brain power? How about some Vitamin M? Music, specifically classical music, has ben proved to enhance the concentration abilities of students. Classical music is mathematically based and seems to naturally resonate with the practical areas of the brain. Studies have shown that listening specifically to Mozart’s violin concerto No.3 in G-Major shows that a brain responds by increased activity in genes that regulate the mood-lifting chemicals dopamine and serotonin. It also directly affected the learning and memory centers of the brain by increasing activity.
Studies also showed that classical music decreased activity of those genes associated with degenerative brain diseases. Researchers concluded that not only does classical music enhance learning and positivity, it helps protect the brain from certain diseases. Interestingly, certain chemicals that were released by the brains of study participants, are also found to be involved in the brains of songbirds when they are learning the songs associated with their species. This illustrates that music is both beauty and power that benefits our brains.
Heavy Metal Music is Healthy
How many of us have heard that Heavy Metal is from the devil? While its true that this genre is not for everyone, it is actually a healthy form of emotional expression. I wrote before about the benefits of heavy metal here. Psychologists have learned from studies of their own that listeners of metal music express more positive feelings in spite of problems that may lead some to become antisocial. Music helps listeners identify with troubling issues and helps them process anxiety or anger in a healthy manner. Metal music is beauty and power in a loud and melodic package.
Teens and young adults who feel bullied or ostracized by their peers are often at risk of developing behavioral and mental health problems. However, those who identified as metal music lovers went on to develop healthy methods of dealing with these social issues. Furthermore, heavy metal musicians and fans are generally happy and well adjusted citizens. So, instead of criticizing those headbanging teens in that car at the light, jack up the tunes and nod along.
Music is Timeless
No matter how old we are, we are never too old for music. It is like our own time machine. We hear a refrain from a long-forgotten song and it instantly transports us back to where we were the first time we heard it. It matters little if its an Alan Jackson song about the day the Twin Towers fell, or if its a swing band song from days gone by, it sparks us and brings a wistful smile.
One of the great privileges I enjoyed as a mom was to introduce my children to the music that I have always loved. I was a typical 1980’s hairband devotee. Happily, my kids enjoy finding new (to them) bands. One of the great joys life is attending a live show. Watching the musicians bring their songs to life is always worth the ticket price. I have no regrets about the money that has gone to any show. I have seen a wide variety of groups, and each and every one has left an indelible memory on my brain and heart.
Music is Both Beauty and Power in Harmony
There is a song or instrumental piece that can fit any mood and emotion. Finding a song that fits a current mood is a wonderful way to process any emotion. If I am feeling depressed, then immersing myself in melodic death metal is a way to let those feelings wash over me. After a while, the clouds lift and I am ready to face the world again.
In the end, no matter who you are, music is life. It can communicate so much in more ways than ever imagined. We can be in a crowd of tens of thousands of people, all from different backgrounds and lifestyles, but the music unites us all. Music truly is the universal language. Music is both beauty and power in working in harmony.