For thousands of years, we have been intrinsically linked to music in our lives. It’s in our mourning, our celebrations, our rituals, and now part of our everyday lives. Researchers have been studying the effect of music on our brain and health, learning that we can perform better and live better when exposed to classical music on a daily basis.
One surprising discovery in a research study shows that classical music influences your brain’s gene expression, resulting in positive effects on cognitive function skills, such as learning and memory, and dopamine production, the feel good hormone. This means just 20 minutes a day of Mozart or Bach music can create mental and physiological changes in your life. Wow! That’s sounds too good to be true.
But it is, according to a Finnish research study that focused on effects of brain exposed to classical music on a molecular level. “Researchers performed genome-wide transcriptional profiling from the peripheral blood of participants after they listened to classical music — and again without music exposure.” The final results were astounding, showing listening to classical music enhanced activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport synaptic function. Maybe the rhythm and melody is already built into our genes after all.
While classical music works to regulate several genes that are known to be responsible for music or song learning, it down-regulated others associated with neuro-degeneration — the process of neurons losing their structure or function. This suggests the importance of familiarity and experience in mediating music-induced effects.
It is very important for us to learn more on how music can help us perform better in daily activities as it has shown to improve our cognitive skills. Adding classical music to your daily life will settle your mind, relax your body, and soothe your spirit. As the saying goes- “Music soothes the savage beast.”
Did you know you can listen to classical music radio station anytime, anywhere? Go to WDAV.org or use the player below and enjoy great classical tracks all the time.
Here are some additional health benefits from listening to classical music:
Lower blood pressure
In a British study, participants took a challenging mental arithmetic test and were then put in a silent room and played different types of music. The classical music test group had significantly lower post-systolic blood pressure levels.
A Taiwanese research study found that pregnant women who listened to classical music showed signs of reduced anxiety and depression and a notable decrease in their stress levels when compared to the control group.
Fight depression and manage pain
In a Glasgow University study, brain tests found that different types of music that varied in pitch, melody and rhythm do indeed evoke certain emotional responses in people. Classical music stimulated responses that are beneficial to relieving emotional pain.
A Dutch research study found that classical music produced soothing instrumental sounds that moderately improved relaxation and quality of sleep in adults and elders.
Music therapy has been an area of scientific interest as a result of these research studies and we can’t wait for what they’ll discover next.