Music & the Brain: The Fascinating Ways Music Affects Your Mood and Mind

Where words fail, music speaks. — Hans Christian Andersen-

This piece on how music affects the brain and mood is excerpted with permission from The Secret Language of the Heart  by Barry Goldstein

Four Ways That Music Affects the Brain

The field of music and neuroscience is greatly expanding and is indicating many beneficial ways music can engage and change the brain. Let’s discuss how music affects the brain and mood by engaging emotion, memory, learning and neuroplasticity, and attention. In looking at the many ways that music engages the brain, we can begin to understand how creating a consistent musical program can target and enhance certain brain functions.

1. Emotion

Research indicates that music stimulates emotions through specific brain circuits. We can easily see how music and the brain engage mood and emotion when a child smiles and begins to dance to a rhythm. He is experiencing an uplifted mood of joy from the music. We also see this when parent and child connect through song. Have you ever listened to a mother singing a lullaby to her newborn baby? It is probably one of the most significant bonding experiences between people you will ever witness.

Outside of music affecting the brain as an emotional experience, it is also a physical experience. One reason for this is a hormone related to bonding called oxytocin. The “cuddle hormone,” as it’s sometimes called, can be released by singing. No wonder music is such a profound emotional experience in the mind of both mother and child!

In addition, research indicates that music affects mood by producing an array of other beneficial molecules in our biological pharmacy.

Read the full article here: http://www. music-and-the-brain-affects- mood/

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