I can feel my heart beating against my chest as chills run up and down my body throughout my first performance with the Baylor Symphony Orchestra. The melodies of the orchestra pump through my veins from the beginning of the piece to the end and for just a few short moments, I feel the stresses of life lifted off my shoulders. As I look around the orchestra and into the audience I see the joy, passion and healing that the music has brought to everyone. Why does music have this effect on us?
- Music is Nostalgic
Think about music that brings you straight back to your childhood. For me that would be a mixture of Billy Joel, Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers. A lot of times songs like “La La Land” brings memories of my younger sister and I dancing and singing at the top of our lungs in the middle of our living room. The music reminds us of significant events in our lives that hold a spot in our hearts.
- Music is Emotional
Music is powerful in that it allows us to feel emotions in a way that is both healthy and healing. Have you ever listened to a song and gotten emotional for evidently no reason? Different songs have a way of connecting us to the artist and other listeners through the story the music tells. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that anyone will understand how we’re feeling and yet, sometimes it takes a particular song for us to feel connected again.
- Music Evokes Empathy
Do you have a particular song you listen to before you have to do something big? Whenever I had to go into an audition for orchestra, I would listen to my Boss Lady playlist. Songs like “COPYCAT” or “Me, Myself, and I” get me into a competitor’s mood and boost my confidence whereas songs like “In My Blood” and anything from Adele usually put me into a more melancholy mood. The ability we have to empathize with the music we listen to is a powerful tool we can use to prepare ourselves for what we need to achieve.
- Music Improves Memory
You would think that for someone who gets distracted easily when working on homework, it would be counterintuitive to listen to music, but I have found that listening to certain types of music helps me remember things quicker. Whenever I need to study for a major exam or get a lot of homework done I will always listen to Alpha Brain Waves. This particular form of music is actually linked to reducing stress and anxiety, bringing you into a more relaxed state of mind. While this type of music is effective for some people, there have been studies that different genres of music affect people differently. What kind of music helps you focus and study better?
- Music Encourages Creativity
Whether it’s singing in the shower, performing a piece of music, or just listening to music while working; music has a way of encouraging creativity. Sometimes it takes a certain song to get the creative juices flowing and to start thinking divergently.
Music is so much more than just notes and words on a page. It allows us to connect with people who have come from completely different walks of life, help us heal from the struggles in our lives, and the freedom to be 100% who we are.
“I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” -Billy Joel