How music affects the brain
How does music affect the brain? Music actually does a lot of things for the brain. It can improve memory, invoke emotion, and even lower anxiety levels.
According to Ashford University, “outside of music affecting the brain as an emotional experience, it is also a physical experience.” Our brains actually release a hormone nicknamed the “cuddling hormone” by singing or listening to others sing. This hormone, oxytocin, is important for social skills and has even been shown to relate to anxiety levels.
According to Ashford University, “many of the beneficial effects of music on the brain are not limited to any single genre.” However, sometimes genre does matter. For example, up-beat songs with positive lyrics have been shown to lead to more positive effects in the brain, and instrumental pieces have been shown to evoke a more relaxing effect. However, the brain is likely to adapt a unique approach to emotions and reactions depending on the types music a person listens to.
The brain is also shown to enjoy genres that it has been exposed to before. According to CNN, “For instance, a person who has heard a lot of jazz before is more likely to appreciate a given piece of jazz music than someone with a lot less experience.”
You would think that, depending on the person and his or her personality, the brain would experience music differently. However, according to CNN, “the brain experiences music in a very consistent fashion across subjects.” However, the brain does react differently whether the person enjoys the piece.