Music is present in every part of our lives. It is everywhere we go, whether it’s on the radio, in the movies, or even in our heads. It has become such an essential aspect of all human civilizations and has the power to emotionally, morally, and culturally affect us.
But just how much can music impact the way we act and feel?
According to research, music can potentially affect disease, depression, expenditure, productivity, and our outlook on life. Due to the advances in neuroscience, it has been shown via brain scans that when we listen to or perform music, nearly all brain regions are active simultaneously. For this reason, listening to and making music may actually change the way your brain works.
Looking at it from a sociological standpoint, music can include the improvement of people’s well-being due to chemical reactions in the brain, such as an increase in oxytocin. Oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” makes us more inclined to engage in social interactions or build trust between individuals. Music also boosts the synthesis of immunoglobulin, an antibody that is crucial for human health. Melatonin, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels also increase after only a few weeks of listening to music, causing us to become more alert, experience excitement, and cause the brain’s “reward” regions to fire.
Connecting with music is much more than just listening to it. It’s about engaging with it on a deeper level. Whether you’re at a concert, a party, or even in the car, music has the ability to bring people together. It can create a sense of community and belonging, which can help us feel more connected to others.
When looking back at my relationship with music, I would say that not only has music brought me closer to happiness, but it has also helped me meet the people I now call family. For the last twelve years, I have exposed myself to different instruments and have gotten the chance to refine my skills in the language of music. When I was barely nine years old, I decided to pick up my first instrument: the flute. In the beginning, it was just a silver stick that made beautiful sounds, but as my knowledge regarding music began to expand, instruments began to evolve. The flute was my voice for four years, and by seventh grade, I had decided to learn a new instrument. The task was trivial, but through trial and error, I mastered the alto saxophone.
Music ensembles and marching bands have been a very big part of my life since fourth grade, and after countless hours of rehearsals, football games, concerts, and competitions, I made very deep connections with those around me. At first, I used music as a way to skip class, but somewhere along the lines, music became a longing lifestyle that my heart yearned for, and without it, I would not be the person I am today.
Music is universal, it brings people together from all walks of life. It doesn’t really matter what language you speak or where you are from, music is a language that all of us can understand. So I encourage you to give that song another listen and really connect with what you hear.