The Positive Power of Music
May 5, 2021
Many things can be seen as powerful with great impact. A punch from John Cena or a meteor striking the earth are a few examples. But neither of these holds as much cultural and emotional impact as the evocative power of music.
The emotional impact that is produced by music is often overlooked due to its simplicity. The arrangement of certain sounds mixed with the tone of a musician’s voice seemingly have complete control over one’s feelings. It’s not just emotions that are impacted by music, it can be one’s coping mechanism or effect a person’s level of productivity.
All in all, music has the power to influence almost every aspect of one’s life. “Music has helped me to evolve into the person I truly am. It allows me to express myself and work through my emotions,” said sophomore Bobby Smith. “I listen to music everyday. It really helps me in the emotional aspect of my life, and honestly, I would have a hard time if music did not exist,” said Smith. He also added that he frequently listens to sad music and hip-hop music in order to help him cope with things in his life.
Music is what people call “the emotional language.” People often say that no one can understand how they are feeling, so they turn to music because of its ability to imitate emotions. This is why many people view music as a therapeutic device. When they listen to music, some say it feels as though the lyrics and the melody are speaking directly to your soul. This kind of connection can be difficult to find within each other, thus making the bond with music even more special.
It has also been shown that listening to music can improve one’s mental health. A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain. Dopamine is a happy chemical release that is a viable treatment for people with depression, and for people who desperately need a serotonin boost. “Music was one of the only things that helped me when I was emotionally struggling,” said Mitchell Messier, a sophomore at FCHS. “Now, music is like eighty percent of my life. I listen to it twenty four-seven,” Messier added.
Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, conducted a research on the effect that listening to music has on work performance. According to Dr. Lesiuk’s research, those who listened to music completed their tasks more efficiently as opposed to the people who did not listen to music.
Not all forms of music improve productivity; in fact, some music even decreases work productivity. Songs with lyrics and complex musical structures can cause you to focus more on the music itself rather than the work in front of you. If you are working on a difficult task, these types of music can be especially distracting to your thought process.
So instead of leaning towards lyrical or complex music, try listening to classical music, nature sounds, epic music, or video game music. Listening to these types of music while completing a task can enhance concentration, cognitive function, levels of motivation, and overall performance.
In the end, it all comes down to what kind of music works for you. There is an endless variety of music out there for everyone to enjoy, and finding music that personally suits you can fully unlock the true power of music.