Each of us has felt the effects music has on our bodies and our emotions. Depending on the song, we can feel happy or catch a case of the blues.
It didn’t surprise me in the least to learn music has a profound effect on the mind and body. I have always noticed how my mood can change in a range of directions by the type of music playing. We’ve all felt the effects music has on us. Certain songs can bring a tear to our eye and others make us want to dance.
In some movies without even realizing it — when the theatrical music excels in volume, my heart begins to race. Feelings of anxiousness — of what’s next can cause a response whether we realize it or not. The movie Jaws, which we’ve probably all seen is a good example. Can you recall the “dada, dada, dada?” I can because it had an effect on me. If I were a nail bitter, I would have been biting my nails.
Music is often used to gear up before a workout or before a big performance. As a mom of a high school football athelete and wrestler, I never knew how key having the right “pump up” song could be before stepping on to the mat. Now, I do. Even the coaches play “pump up” type of music during some of the practices. At home matches, each wrestler gets to walk out to a song of their choice — more proof music is significant — to them anyway.
In a study on the effects of music by Dr. Harvey Bird, he separated three groups of mice exposing them to waltz music, rock music and silence. The mice in the waltz group had no problem finding their way out of a maze to get to food. The group exposed to rock had a great deal of trouble finding their way out — even three weeks later, they still had trouble.
Details in his study showed there were different amounts of brain damage to the mice exposed to rock. Some of them even began cannibal activities! If you’re a hard rock-n-roller, you might want to do a little more research. I don’t want to alarm anyone but it could be worth looking in to, especially if you’ve been a long time rocker.
Extensive studies on humans have found rock music causes the heart rate to increase and stress on the heart, but waltz type music simulates the rhythm of the heart in a good way, calming it and lower blood pressure.
I have to agree with research which has shown extensivly how music influences the way we drive and behavior behind the wheel. I didn’t understand this until I started being a passenger when my teenage son is driving. Now ... after all these years, I understand why my mom kept turning the volume down in the car. When she did this it was usually accompanied by, “I can’t hear myself think.”
Research suggests the automobile is one of the most popular places we listen to music. Since rhythms, melodies, tones and musical beats can have an effect on driving just as it does on our mood and health, maybe we should fine tune what our brain is tuned into.