If you’re anything like us, music is a big part of your life. You use it to pick up your mood, to help you concentrate, or just to relax after a long day of blog writing. It seems like a simple process but there is a whole lot of science behind it. In Fast Company’s intriguing new piece entitled “The Surpising Science Behind What Music Does to Our Brains”, author Belle Beth Cooper explores the more intricate nuances of how our favorite beats scientifically interact with us. Here are some fascinating highlights from the article.
Happy/sad music affects how we see neutral faces:
We can usually pick if a piece of music is particularly happy or sad, but this isn’t just a subjective idea that comes from how it makes us feel. In fact, our brains actually respond differently to happy and sad music.
Something else that’s really interesting about how our emotions are affected by music is that there are two kind of emotions related to music: perceived emotions and felt emotions.
Ambient noise can improve creativity
We all like to pump up the tunes when we’re powering through our to-do lists, right? But when it comes to creative work, loud music may not be the best option. So maybe next time forget the Hardwell and turn on your washing machine.
Our music choices can predict our personality
Look at this graphic below! Finally, proof that classical and jazz go hand in hand with ego-maniacs! The article also states that “Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle”. We’re fine with that.
Another interesting highlight was that…
music training can significantly improve our motor and reasoning skills.
We generally assume that learning a musical instrument can be beneficial for kids, but it’s actually useful in more ways than we might expect. One study showed that children who had three years or more musical instrument training performed better than those who didn’t learn an instrument in auditory discrimination abilities and fine motor skills!
Music also helps us exercise. For example, a 2012 study showed that cyclists who listened to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same work as those who cycled in silence. Some recent research has even shown that there’s a ceiling effect on music at around 145 bpm, where anything higher doesn’t seem to add much motivation, so keep that in mind when choosing your workout playlist you drum and bass fans!
There’s so much more to this article, but the bottom line is… music is good for you. But you already knew that! Be sure to scroll through the full article.