How Music benefits Us

By: Jesus Reyes

Music Benefits.....

Music has many good impacts on our brain, some good some bad. Music can help our brains work faster, by the different patterns music has. People who play an instrument have proved to have a better vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning skill such as understanding and analyzing information.

Ambient noise Can improve creativity.

Listening ambient noises can help our brain to process new ideas. It turns out that a moderate noise level is the sweet spot for creativity. Even more than low noise levels, ambient noise apparently gets our creative juices flowing, and doesn't put us off the way high levels of noise do. The way this works is that moderate noise levels increase processing difficulty which promotes abstract processing, leading to higher creativity

Classical music can improve visual attention

The study also tried white noise and silence to compare the results, and found that, like the driving study mentioned earlier, silence resulted in the worst scores. Because this study was so small, the conclusions need to be explored further for validation, but I find it really interesting how music and noise can affect our other senses and abilities—in this case, vision.

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Happy/sad music affects how we see neutral faces

Low notes, sustained notes or high notes can make us change the way we feel. Even short pieces of happy or sad music can affect us. One study showed that after hearing a short piece of music, participants were more likely to interpret a neutral expression as happy or sad, to match the tone of the music they heard. This also happened with other facial expressions, but was most notable for those that were close to neutral. P

Something else that's really interesting about how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kind of emotions related to music: perceived emotions and felt emotions. This means that sometimes we can understand the emotions of a piece of music without actually feeling them, which explains why some of us find listening to sad music enjoyable, rather than depressing.

Music can predict someone's personality

Depending which are your tastes in music, it might predict a person's personality. In a study of couples who spent time getting to know each other, looking at each other's top ten favorite songs actually provided fairly reliable predictions as to the listener's personality traits. The study used five personality traits for the test: openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability.P

Interestingly, some traits were more accurately predicted based on the person's listening habits than others. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability were the easiest to guess correctly. Conscientiousness, on the other hand, wasn't obvious based on musical taste.P

Here is the break-down of how the different genres correspond to our personality, according to a study conducted at Heriot-Watt University:

  • Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at easeP
  • Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, and at easeP
  • Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introverts, and at easeP
  • Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoingP
  • Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative, and gentleP
  • Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoingP
  • Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle, and at easeP
  • Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentleP
  • Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentleP
  • Bollywood fans are creative and outgoingP
  • Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at easeP
  • Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing, and gentle, but are not creative and not at easeP
  • Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease