MUSIC and the BRAIN

Integration of Both Left and Right Brain Hemispheres

Music may activate the flow of stored memory across the corpus callosum. This allows the right and left brain hemispheres to work in harmony rather than in conflict. Since music is nonverbal in nature, it will trigger the right hemisphere. When used in a therapeutic nature, the verbalization of words will trigger the logical left brain at the same time. Therefore, music therapy allows communication between the left and right brain.

Many studies have shown that music enhances memory, spatial reasoning, math skills, and increases IQ.

Music helps communication and synchronicity between the two brain hemispheres. This is important because whole-brain thinking is “genius thinking.”

Music can stimulate the brain to enter the alpha and theta states. Alpha brainwaves induce creativity, and the lower theta waves are associated with “superlearning” and lucid dreaming.

Synesthesia and Music

Synesthesia happens when perception in one sense activates a perception in another sense. A person who experiences musical synesthesia may see a color, smell something, experience a taste, or feel a change in temperature due to the music they are listing to. Chromesthesia is a specific form of synesthesia whereby a person sees visual images, colors, or shapes when they are listening to music. Synesthesia occurs when there is increased "cross-talk" between different cerebral regions, and music aids this "cross-talk".

Music and Creativity

Music stimulates the production of alpha and theta waves in the brain. Highly creative people have a different pattern of brain waves than normal or non-creative individuals. Big bursts of alpha brain waves induce creativity. Similarly, theta brain waves are associated with the process of dreaming, states of enhanced creativity, learning, and relaxation. Thus, music has been shown to stimulate creativity.

Music , its effect on Memory and Learning

The power of music to affect memory is quite intriguing. Mozart's music and baroque music, with a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, activate the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music activates the right brain. Also, activities which engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, causes the brain to be more capable of processing information.

According to The Center for New Discoveries in Learning, learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by using this 60 beats per minute music. For example, the ancient Greeks sang their dramas because they understood how music could help them remember more easily ). A renowned Bulgarian psychologist, Dr. George Lozanov, designed a way to teach foreign languages in a fraction of the normal learning time. Using his system, students could learn up to one half of the vocabulary and phrases for the whole school term (which amounts to almost 1,000 words or phrases) in one day. Along with this, the average retention rate of his students was 92%. Dr. Lozanov's system involved using certain classical music pieces from the baroque period which have around a 60 beats per minute pattern. He has proven that foreign languages can be learned with 85-100% efficiency in only thirty days by using these baroque pieces. His students had a recall accuracy rate of almost 100% even after not reviewing the material for four years.


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