The Positive Effects of Music
Try imagining the annoying ring of your alarm clock in the morning, the spooky howl of a dog in the middle of the night, the familiar “ding” of the toaster and the pitter-patter of the rain in a quiet afternoon. All these sounds are just random noises that you have probably heard all the time. But, try putting them all together in a beat- and, you have just created music. By definition, music is the beautiful sounds that you can hear and listen to. So, now that we have known the nature of music, what are the positive effects of music?
Apparently, listening to music or playing a musical instrument gives out great benefits on our psychological faculty. Music can change a person’s moods both consciously and unconsciously. According to Clark (2005; as cited in McCaffrey & Locsin, 2002), music can act as a distractor and draw away the person’s attention off the cause of stress. Playing musical instrument can actually help in releasing endorphins in your body, which will also result in reduced level of stress. Music promotes happiness in your life; which is true because music will trigger activity in a part of the brain called nucleus accumbens; the part of the brain that is in charge of releasing the feel-good chemical – dopamine.
Music can help transporting the mind into tranquil state and this is depending on what you listen to. Music is also a very effective coping mechanism. That is why people who just experience sadness tend to listen to sad songs as it reciprocates their emotions. Music helps us access parts of ourselves which are usually inaccessible (Feiles, 2012). It is a form of art that can provide a sense of individuality, freedom and independence. This will lead to the person’s self-discovery and their sense of identity. Playing or listening to music can decrease our level of anxiety and nervousness. If you are having a big test, or an important presentation, listening or humming to your favourite happy tunes beforehand could calm down your nerves and help you perform better.
Music is also known to help in enhancing learning ability in students. Researchers have reported that students involved in music exhibited higher academic achievement than students that are not involved in music. Music helps to increase the children’s creativity in not only solving problems but also their mathematical and numbering abilities. Other than that, it is also said that music can help to improve your reading and comprehension skills. Matthews (2011) states that, playing music needs you to look at the notes and move your fingers to the correct key while simultaneously counting the beat.
If you learn to play an instrument, the parts of brain that control motor skills will become more active (Matthews, 2011). By reading musical notes, your brain must turn it into specific motor movements while controlling the rhythm and breathing. Also for most instruments, you will have your fingers/arms/limbs each performing different tasks simultaneously. Musicians have skills that are very hard to achieve unless by continuous training, high determination and intense concentration, and music does help on sharpening an individual’s concentration. When playing music, musicians need to focus on things such as the pitch, tempo and the quality of the music he produces.
The most amazing thing about music is it can actually act as form of therapy for our health. People actually use music for its healing property, and believe it or not, music therapy has existed way back to the ancient time. Music therapy can actually help to reduce blood pressure level, children and teenagers with Attention Deficit Disorder, people with insomnia and depression. Listening to upbeat dance music is known to increase the level of antibody in our system. Scientists suggest that, the pleasant state created by the music leads to stress reduction or direct immune enhancement.
Music has become an essential part of our life as it is not just a form of entertainment; it is art and also literature. Music is a tool to express ourselves and to show off our true colours to the world. Music has very subtle properties that the benefits it has brought to us sometimes passed unnoticed. Music contributes many positive effects to our psychological state; it helps to improve learning ability among students and improve our health aspects. However, as a Muslim, there should be no music more beautiful and perfect than psalmody of our sacred text – the Quran.
LAMAN KOLUMNIS | Health
Syahmy Arief Bin Mustaza
Faculty of Medicine
Ain Shams University
Bureau of Publishing and Information
PERUBATAN Ain Shams Chapter 2016/2017