One of the most amazing things in the whole world is listening to your favourite band perform live! It’s pure magic. There is just entirely life affirming something about singing (shouting or growling) songs back at their maker.
Imagine how it must feel for the musicians? – Powerful, entrancing…awesome. Whether you’re playing a pianoforte for an audience of quiet absorbers, a jazz concert for a club of enthusiasts or a rock gig for a rabble of fans, scientists have proved that enacting years of musical training benefits the brain.
A recent study by researchers from the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool suggests that the areas in charge of music and language share common pathways in the brain; that the brain likely uses its syntactic regions to process all communication – whether spoken or through music.
After assessing the brain activity of musicians, researchers found that musical training causes a change in the cognitive mechanisms used for music perception, and these are usually used in processing language. In other words, musical training stimulates language abilities, enhancing one’s ability to communicate.
But don’t feel left out if you’re not a musical genius and you’d rather be on the receiving end of the tune. Michael Huckabee, professor and director of the University of Nebraska Medical Center Division of Physician Assistant Education, talks about ‘musical therapy’, saying that:
“Music does something beyond our understanding. We can call it an endorphin release or a distraction, but it goes much deeper than that. Somehow music just does us good. And the good it does was just proven to be better.”
In an article about the benefits of music on human health, Huckabee references a group of studies in Taiwan that show that cancer patients who routinely listen to music exhibit significantly fewer symptoms of depression, pain, fatigue and anxiety.
So, really, music is god for everyone – we didn’t really need science to tell us that, did we?