Scientific studies suggest that classical music can calm people by decreasing their heart rates, reducing nervousness, and lowering levels of anxiety. Per The Healthy, listening to classical music can trigger physiological benefits. Not only can it decrease cortisol levels and lower blood pressure, but it can also release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. This can lead people to feel less stressed and more relaxed. However, the powerful human connection to music, particularly classical, is not completely understood. Since classical music is so influential on the body and mind, people question: “Can listening to it make us smarter?”
The Mozart Effect, which involves listening to Mozart’s musical compositions to increase intelligence, has been the subject of studies, with mixed reviews. Mozart’s music is of particular interest to researchers who want to see how the human mind and body respond to complexity of musical compositions. Over the years, numerous studies have been done, many of which are inconclusive and some with positive data. In one study, researchers found that people who listened to Mozart’s music showed an increase in brain wave activities that are linked to memory. In another study done by French researchers, they concluded that students who listened to classical music in the background during a lecture scored better on a test than other students who did not. Though more research in this field is necessary, most experts agree that Mozart’s music does have a positive impact on the mind and that Mozart’s classical music can enhance some task related performances. However, participants of yet another study performed even better on a specific task listening to a different genre of music that was not classical. Thus, it is surmised that music generally can stimulate people, and this may positively impact mood, productivity, creativity and possibly intelligence. And it is not solely classical music that can make an impact.
Listening to Mozart or other Classical composers can make people feel good as it is generally an enjoyable genre of music. However, individual responses to music may vary. Some find classical music to be so relaxing that they use it as a sleep aid, whereas others enjoy listening as a form of stimulation. Thus, music clearly does impact people, as it can create feelings of joy or relieve stress to make some feel happier or calmer. Researchers are just beginning to understand the significance of music in relation to our minds and bodies and we have a lot more to learn. However, it is hopeful that one day soon, music may be used to scientifically help people in many ways, playing a vital role in health care, as therapy or in healing, or be used as a measure to improve brain function to keep folks healthier, happier, and stronger than ever before.
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