Six Ways How Playing Music Improves Quality of Life
Music is present in every society, including native or aboriginal cultures that use drums or chanting for musical expression. The reason for its presence is that life without music is virtually impossible. That’s one of the reasons why the nonprofit arts organization Epitome of the Soul, Inc., promotes and encourages elementary and high school students to strive for academic excellence through the performing arts.
Continuing non-profit arts education is important because of the benefits that music has on our lives from childhood all the way to one’s senior years. Here are six ways that playing music makes your quality of life better.
Musicians Have Better Brains
Brain scans show that professional musicians, as well as those who play a lot of music, have brains that are different from those in the general public. Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical.
Improves Visual and Verbal Skills
Playing music at an early age stimulates verbal, communication and visual skills. One study of 8- to 11-year-olds indicated that those involved in extra-curricular music classes had higher verbal IQ’s while their visual ability was also greater.
Alleviates Stress and Anxiety and Improves Sleep Quality
Music affects stress and anxiety in a positive manner, reduces blood pressure and pulse rates and releases chemicals in the brain that lead to better vascular health. Playing and listening to music also promotes better sleep patterns, creating more rest and overall better general health.
Enhances Brain Chemicals
Performing music boosts the brain hormone oxytocin, often called the morale molecule and trust molecule because it helps people trust and bond with one another. Music also boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine, the feel good chemical, which is a key part of the body’s pleasure-reward system. It’s the same chemical that is responsible for “runner’s high.” That’s why those who play music are often happier. It can make you feel more powerful and in control of your life.
Keeps an Aging Brain Healthy
Research shows that music raining and playing music in old age can keep the brain healthy as you age. Think of it as exercise for the brain that will give you better memory and mental sharpness. Even individuals who have suffered certain forms of brain damage can improve their conditions through music therapy.
The Mozart Effect
Almost everyone has heard of the 1990’s theory that listening to Mozart’s music can make you smarter. While Mozart doesn’t have any special effect on intelligence, studies have found that children who play music do better in subjects like language, reading, and math and have better fine motor skills.
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Originally published at epitomeofsoul.org.