Music is a way to people’s hearts. It’s a journey to their souls. It Influences and changes people. It evokes emotions that are raw with passion. We hear these patterns and words and let them fill our senses to the fullest capacity. We are entranced by it from early on in our lives and it carries on until we pass. Music can be seen as one of, if not the most listened to thing around the world whether it be on an app, a radio, or live in some form in front of us. Each person in the world has such different views on how music can bring them together but we all can be brought together by it. Music has such great effects on our brains and we never actually realize this. It can be a help to our education by just learning an instrument. We can lock memories away and only unlock if we have a certain song that goes with it. Over the years the amount of research done on this topic has been increasing with each experiment, blog, and journal written. Music can be found in every culture all around the world. It has become such a big part of our lives, that researchers can’t help but want to study how music affects people, especially children. From within the womb, to music around the house, starting on an instrument or singing can have such positive effects on us especially when it comes to our education in areas such as math. It has been proven that music influences humans both in good and bad ways. The ways in which we allow it into our lives varies from person to person. We have so many new ways to listen to the music we love although some of what we here can actually be hurting us without us ever realizing it until it is too late.Body The power of music to affect memory is quite interesting. Mozart’s along with baroque music, has a 60 beats per minute pattern, which activate both the left and right parts of the brain. The simultaneous left and right brain activity pushes learning and retention of information to the fullest. The information being studied activates the left brain while the music itself activates the right brain. Also, activities that need both sides of the brain at the same time, like playing an instrument or singing, causes the brain to be more capable of processing information. Musical improv, which is a random creative idea, is one of the best examples of how music affects both sides of the brain. Our technical skills are used to play the instrument which affect the left side of the brain, while the creative ideas or improvisation flowing through us affect the right side. Even in terms of our brains developing, music can play a key role. Training to play an instrument, for instance, is believed to increase gray matter volume in certain areas of the brain, not unlike how physical exercise can tone and enlarge muscles. As a result, musicians often experience improvement in brain functions like:Auditory processingLearningMemory”There are many different types of musical skills a person learns when they are involved in musical training. For example, a musician needs to know how to physically play their instrument, or how to make vocals sound the correct way. A musician also needs to know how to read music. In order to read music, a musician needs to know how to read different intervals between different notes on a staff and translate them to their instrument. The faster a person can read and interpret notes on a staff, the faster they can play their instrument. Sightreading is a skill that has to be practiced repeatedly in order to do it successfully. It requires planning in a very short amount of time in order for the musician to be successful (Drake & Palmer, 2000). It requires musicians to look at least two measures ahead in order to plan for the notes that are coming up. This is a very specific skill that, once learned, can make a musician more aware of what is happening in a certain piece of music. Once a musician has learned their instrument and has not only learned to read music, but has also learned to sight read, they can put together a performance that is pleasing to not only the musician, but also to an audience. Reading music and sight-reading allows the musician to produce musical notes in order and the notes after, in 9 the right timing. The cognitive processes of reading music also manufactures rhythm and structure. In order to read music successfully, a musician needs to read the correct rhythms if the music is to be performed correctly along with paying careful attention to the meter, tempo, bar lines, and phrases, which gives us the overall structure of the music. Developing expertise in each of these areas enables a musician to put together a performance that is pleasing to not only the musician, but also to an audience.” Brain Waves But music can also affect your mood by entraining the brain to more relaxed states, where we become more focused and attentive and can increase our cognitive abilities, sleep more soundly, and learn to meditate. While heart entrainment is based upon synchronizing the heartbeat to specific tempos, or beats per minute, brain entrainment is based on the brain synchronizing to specific musical frequencies, which are measured in hertz (Hz). Specific frequencies induce different states in our brain:Beta WavesHertz Level: 14–40 HzEffect: Awake, normal alert consciousnessExample: Actively conversing or engaging in work Alpha WavesHertz Level: 8–14 HzEffect: Calm, relaxedExample: Meditating, reflecting, taking a break from workTheta WavesHertz Level: 4–8 HzEffect: Deep relaxation and meditation, mental imageryExample: DaydreamingDelta wavesHertz Level: 0–4 HzEffect: Deep, dreamless sleepExample: Experiencing REM sleep During our active day most of us are in beta states. We are moving at a faster pace when our attention is on our outer world (work, family, etc.), and our faster brain frequencies reflect this. As we move to more relaxed brain wave states, we fall into a calmer mood. We can induce the alpha state in our mind by closing our eyes, breathing slower, and listening to calming music. As we travel into an even deeper state of relaxation, we move into a theta brain wave state. This can occur through meditation and also through relaxation music. It is in alpha and theta states that we tap into enhanced creative frames of mind. As our bodies progress into deep sleep, we are in delta and our brain waves have fully slowed down.Endorphins One of the first things that happens when music enters our brains is that it triggers the pleasure centers that release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes you feel joy and happiness. This response is so quick that the brain can sometimes even anticipate the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early rush of dopamine. Beyond making you feel good, there’s evidence that music can even be good for your health. Research has shown that listening to music is associated with upticks in immunity-boosting antibodies and cells that protect against bacteria and other invaders. Music has also proven to be effective across a variety of treatment scenarios for conditions ranging from premature birth to depression to Parkinson’s disease. Dopamine is a central organizer of drives and rewards and is tied to music sensibilities imagined, acted, and expected Dopamine levels are linked to diverse motivated behaviors (Kelley, 1999). These links have led a number of investigators to connect dopamine to reward. However, dopamine neurons are activated under a number of conditions including duress or excitement. The pain of performance rituals through rehearsal and the expected excitement of the musical experience in context with others, for instance, activate dopamine. Music makes clear that there is no mind-body separation. The rhythmicity of the brain, along with the development of cognitive capabilities, illustrates clear how inherent music is to our evolutionary and social success. This social link demonstrates that biological and cultural evolution are intertwined in music. Based on this, we can predict that imagining music and listening to music would activate many of the same brain regions, which indeed it does. Additionally, music facilitates social contact and would therefore be linked to an expanding cortex, which indeed, cortical expansion it. We could further predict that music would contribute to social cooperative behaviors, and that genetic syndromes like Williams syndrome, with exaggerated social approach behaviors, would also reveal a greater propensity for music, a fundamental prosocial feature. Biologically, oxytocin, a prosocial facilitating peptide, may be elevated in Williams syndrome. Like dopamine, oxytocin may be elevated in listening to music.Kids and Language, reading, and memory The role of music in helping language skills contributes to the development of readingSkills. “One of the first studies to consider the role of music in children’s intellectual developmentwas undertaken by Hurwitz et al. (1975). First-grade children were assigned to one of twogroups. An experimental group received Kodaly music lessons for five days each week forseven months, a control group did not. At the end of the study, the experimental group scoredsignificantly higher than the control group on three of five sequencing tasks and four of fivespatial tasks. No statistically significant differences were found for verbal measures, althoughthe children in the experimental group had higher reading achievement scores than those inthe control group which were maintained after two academic years.” Another two studies researched the perceived benefits of school band participation in the USA. The benefits included accomplishment, appreciation, discipline, fun, active participation (Brown 1980). 95% of parents of non-band participants believed that band provided educational benefits not found in other classrooms and 78% agreed that band was more educational than extra-curricular. Band directors talked in general terms about the benefits of discipline, teamwork, co-ordination, development of skills, pride, lifetime skills, accomplishment, cooperation, self-confidence, sense of belonging, responsibility, self expression, creativity, performance, companionship, building character and personality, improving self-esteem, social development and enjoyment. In a follow up study (Brown, 1985), 91% of non-band parents, 79% of non-band students, 90% of drop-out band parents and 82% of drop out band students agreed that participating in a band builds self-esteem, self confidence and a sense of accomplishment. In adolescence, music makes a major contribution to the development of self-identity. Teenagers listen to a great deal of music (Hodges and Haack, 1996). In the UK, typically almost three hours a day (North et al., 2000). They do this to pass time, alleviate boredom, relieve tension, and distract themselves from worries (North et al., 2000; Zillman and Gan, 1997; Tolfree and Hallam, in preparation). Music is seen as a source of support when young people are feeling troubled or lonely, acting as a mood regulator, helping to maintain a sense of belonging and community (Zillman and Gan, 1997). Its affect on moods at this time can be profound (Goldstein, 1980). In early childhood there seem to be benefits for the development of perceptual skills which effect learning language subsequently impacting on literacy which is also enhanced by opportunities to develop rhythmic co-ordination. Fine motor co-ordination is improved through learning to play an instrument. Music also seems to improve spatial reasoning, one aspect of general intelligence which is related to some of the skills required in mathematics.