Most people have their own particular styles of music they enjoy. Music is one of the greatest joys of mankind and it is effective at simulating the brain and enhancing learning.
Listening to music stimulates the whole brain through diverse neural circuitry that stimulate better brain metabolism. Listening to enjoyable music improves your brain function.
The brain is divided into two major hemispheres called the right and left hemispheres. The right brain is thought to process information through creative imagery. The left brain is the analytical side that controls verbal and mathematical processing. The corpus callosum connects the left and right hemispheres and controls the communication between these two.
Music helps connect your brain hemispheres
Music is unique in that it activates a broad array of neurons across the corpus callosum. This creates a state of harmony between the two hemispheres. The non-verbal melodies of music stimulate the right brain while singing stimulates the language center in the left hemisphere.
Music has the amazing potential to alter an individual's state of consciousness. Music therapy has been shown to shift a person's complete perception of time and stimulates unique emotions and memories. Listening to music boosts endorphin release which lifts our spirits and activates positive emotions and states of euphoria.
Music helps boost creative energies
Music also boosts creative energies through the production of alpha and theta waves. Large influxes of alpha waves induce states of enhanced creativity while theta waves are associated with dreaming, learning and relaxing.
The key for boosting creative energies is to listen to the type of music you enjoy the most. If you want more inspiration in language and mathematics it would make sense to listen to music with
singing while music without words stimulates more artistic and visual senses.
These types of music can also be used to help balance the hemispheres effectively. Someone who has a left brain focused job such as an accountant may experience an increased level of peace and
stability when they listen to classical music or other right brain style music.
Someone with a heavy right brain position (such as an artist) may do well with rock-n-roll or other lyric based music to charge up their left brain. This is all subjective to the unique tendencies and subtleties of the individual but more research is pointing in the direction of using music to balance and stabilize the hemispheres.
Music therapy and your health
Classical or light music help to calm and relax blood pressure. Researchers have shown that listening to calming music for periods of time every day is extremely effective for stabilizing blood pressure levels.
Music therapy is used to help patients with neurological conditions by stimulating unique regions and enhancing blood flow and metabolism. This sort of therapy was popularized by Dr. Oliver Sacks and featured in the movie "Awakenings."
Music therapy and Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is associated with damage to the temporal lobe that is used to process and direct memories. Music stimulates not only direct memories but other circumstances surrounding that musical experience. Researchers have found that listening to music can indirectly stimulate memory fragments that would not otherwise be retrieved. This helps to provide emotional comfort and improve brain function.
Music therapy and Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a pathogenic process that destroys the basal ganglia. This region of the brain organizes thoughts and movements into action. Strong, rhythmic musical beats stimulate motor control, movement and coordination. Combining this music with dance steps and other movements has been shown to improve walking speed and coordination for individuals with Parkinson's.