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What
is music?

Music is built by two different components,
which are the rhythm and the pitch. These two primary dimensions of music are
those that build what music really is. The rhythm is about the tempo and
regularity which is the beat in the music and if its stressed or unstressed
which effects our heart rate. The pitch is the frequency of sounds, which can
be ordered from low to high but the pitch also includes the melody that is the
relation or the pattern of musical sounds (Krumhansl, C. L. (2000).

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In
what way could music benefit our health?

We can all think of a song or songs
that trigger us emotional, it´s maybe a song that we can relate to a break-up
or maybe from a very beautiful moment. When we have experienced some of these
moments when music actually have effects us it´s quite unsurprising that a lot
of studies actually showed that music could help our mental health. A study
made by a researcher from McGill University in Canada 2011 showed that
listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in our brain,
which is a mood-enhancing chemical that makes it possible for treatment of
depression. (Whiteman, H. 2015) According to the researchers, this could be the
first study that showed an abstract reward by listening to music. Same as
eating and sleeping releases dopamine. Earlier studies have showed that
abstract rewards are processed on a cognitive level but by this research it is
shown that our ancient reward circuits can also be involved. This doesn´t mean
that our day-to-day listening will affect the rewards but the important thing
about the study is that is shows us that when we´re listening to music ancient
reward circuits are flooding in our brain that are designed to make us feel
good (Moore, S. K. 2011)

            In
later researchers the music goes beyond the mental health and is brought up in
many mental health cases if the music therapy should be used instead of
ordinary therapy.

Music could not only give us rewards
like treats but also help us reducing pain and anxiety. A study was done with
patients who had an undergone surgery and used music to reduce pain and
anxiety. The study showed that for those who had music playing after and during
the procedure reported to feel less pain and anxiety than those who didn’t had
music, but these patients with music playing, recorded to be less likely to
need pain medication as well. This effect was even stronger for those patients
that chose their favorite music during and after the procedure.

 

Another health aspect where music
helps us is when we´re feeling stressed. Most of us are listening to some calm
music that we know will calm us down or to our favorite song that we can sing
along to. This is not only a thing that we think that could help us reduce
stress, there are several studies that can prove this factor. While we are
listening to music while stressed the music helps us to lower the body´s
cortisol level, which is the hormone, released to stress. But dependent on
which type of music we listening to our, pulse, heart rate, blood pressure and
body temperature could be controlled because of the pitch and rhythm that is
mentioned in the beginning. This effect on our heart rate and its potential to
reduce or lower our stress level may lead to that music could be effective on
treating heart conditions as well (Whiteman, H. 2015).

 

Music
and learning

We have all at some point got in
touch with music lessons in school even if most of us didn´t understand why we
had that as a subject in school. Like, why should we learn to play the piano
when I want to be a psychologist when I grow up? Music is good for developing
our brain and the science shows us unbelievers in school that those children
that learn to play music developing their brain to hear and process sounds that
they couldn’t hear otherwise. This helps the children further to developing
“neurophysiological distinction” between some sounds that will help them in
literacy, which means that these kids that learning to play an instrument could
improve in their academic results. An important thing is that this type of in
learning doesn´t only come from the music itself, it comes from the active
participation with the music (Locker, M. 2014).

            But
music doesn´t only help us when it comes to in learning, music help us also to
remember certain of things that reminds us of the music that is playing or it
could wake up some memories from that certain of time when that song was
playing. Disregarded from in learning and remembering, the music also helps us
when it comes to learning something new. A study was made in 2013 and published
in the journal Memory and cognition
where 60 adults were learning Hungarian. All were randomized in three different
learning tasks; speaking unfamiliar Hungarian phrases, speaking the same
sentence in rhythmic fashion or singing the phrase. The study showed that the
adults that were singing the phrases had a much higher recall accuracy than the
other two groups and this could conclude that a listen-and-sing learning method
is better. This have led to that researchers have suggestion music as a help
for recalling memory for people with cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s
disease (Whiteman, H. 2015).

 

Discussion

I think music helps us a lot in our
daily life but also when it comes to different sicknesses. I listening to music
as much as I can because it helps me in different ways depending on what I´m
doing. Like the researchers has shown, the music help us to reduce stress and
by listening to calm music when I´m stressed, I actually feel much better and focused.
The opposite is when I´m working out, I rather chose music that has a stressed
rhythm so I my pulse gets higher and I´m getting more focused on the gym
because of that.
About the listen-and-singing technique when it comes to learn new things is actually
something I learned during early elementary school. During our math class we
always sang the multiplication table with the different numbers to learn what
comes after the next number eg. 2, 4, 6, 8 and so on. This song is still
something that I hear when I´m counting and trying to figure out the
multiplications, even if it´s very long ago. 

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