Music is, has always been, and will always be a vital segment of human existence. Its ability to control to a large extent human emotions cannot be underemphasized. Music can make us happy, sad, grateful, appreciative, and a whole lot more. It resonates with our feelings at various points in our lives and thus is very important to our daily struggle. Music also has the ability to motivate and demoralize people depending on what kind they listen to. Many cultural revolutions are backed hugely by music. Even soldiers have war songs they march on to. As such, music is a vital part of human existence and its influence can not be overlooked in any way.
Experiments and scientific research has also been able to show that music influences are far beyond just emotional control. Music’s usefulness to humans has also been likened to the importance exercise holds in a man’s life. Exercises keep the human body firm and in tone. Muscles are maintained and built by constant exercising activities which over time help to keep the body fit and young, even in old age. Similarly, it has been shown that music has the same capabilities of keeping a very vital part of the human body young, active, and fit, even in declining ages. The human brain, according to an otolaryngologist at John Hopkins, has very few things that can stimulate it as music can.
Music, the already mighty and powerful human assistance to cases like anxiety, blood pressure, lack of quality sleep, emotional pain, mental in-alertness, and even memory loss, has been described as a great tool in keeping the brain engaged throughout an aging process. Listening to music or playing music, is a vital total brain workout.
In an article from Hopkins Medicine, an insight into how the brain works with music helps to draw this conclusion of music’s importance to brainpower longevity. When listening to music from a music player, the player transmits vibrations through the air into the ear canal, which then tickles the eardrum and gets transformed into an electrical signal that travels through the auditory nerves into the brain stem. It is at the brain stem the sound is reassembled into a form we then interpret as music in our brains.
Making music is also widely known for its effect on cognitive development and as a potential rehabilitative and restorative therapy for brain dysfunctions. A research article investigating the ability of music-making to protect the brain as it ages showed results that reiterate the importance of music in keeping the human brain young and active. Three groups of individuals, Non-Musicians, Amateur Musicians, and Professionals were examined.
The results showed that non-musicians had an older brain than professional musicians, who in turn had an older brain than amateur musicians, noting that amateur musicians have a younger brain, mostly because they engage in other activities and are not as intensely involved in music as professionals who may well just be only engaging in music activities.
Multiple studies have also shown that a life of creating music mitigates age-related decline in the auditory brain. Music specifically strengthens the aspects of sound processing that are hallmarks of auditory aging. Older adults have slower neural responses to speech than younger adults but the brains of older adult musicians pick up the details of speech sounds as quickly as those of young, non-musician adults.
From all that has been cited, music definitely helps to keep the brain young. Research all over the world has endlessly shown its ability and there have been recommendations on how to help make sure we get the best out of music’s magic power. One of such is listening to music that is more recent than we are. New music genres and styles challenge the brain and sound unpleasant initially. But over time we get used to them and feel the vibe that the newer generation of people enjoys in them.
Also, playing older songs from the past helps to revive our old and long-forgotten memories as music is usually a timestamp in the lifetime of humans. Finally, engaging in music training, no matter how little is also very vital in keeping our cognitive abilities sharp and our brain as young as ever.
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