April 09, 2015
Why Classical Music for Studying Aids & Supports Better Study Habits
There is a groundbreaking theory known as The Mozart Effect. It hypothesizes that classical music for studying can improve your spatial-temporal memory. This theory came about when Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis used the famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s compositions as stimuli to improve hearing in professional singers. During his use of this alternative medicine, he theorized that hearing problems contributed to the causation of a variety of ailments. Today, we have developed the Tomatis Listening Therapy. During these therapy sessions, classical music is played into the right ear and then the sound vibrates through the bones in the body. The main goal of this therapy is to get both ears in ‘sync’ which is said to rebalance the system.
Classical Music’s Effect on Our Brain
Modern scientists have discovered that music affects not just our ears, but our brain, in many wonderful ways. The science Neuromusicology has discovered that music lights up your entire brain. Dr. Jonathan Burdette is a neuroradiologist at Wake Forest Baptist. His studies of music’s impact on the brain have garnered a lot of attention. He states that ‘ Music is primal. It affects all of us. But in very personal, unique ways.’ So, whenever we hear music that we like, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine, also known as the ‘motivation molecule’, which gives us a great feeling from our heads down to our toes.
Certain music can even alleviate pain! To take a look into our brains, Dr. Burdette uses a type of MRI called the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging or fMRI. This imaging machine creates a map of the brain by detecting changes in blood flow. Follow this link for an indepth look into Burdette’s studies using classical music stimuli.
We now know that listening to and playing music impacts the immune system too, making us healthier in the long run. If you really want to step up your brain game, try learning to play a classical music instrument, such as the piano or violin. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and open up endless possibilities to challenge your brain.
If you were to look closely at a scan of a professional musicians brain compared to an average brain, you would notice that they are bigger and more ‘connected’, contributing to the musician’s overall sense of well being and purpose. Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical and their brain wave responses are symmetrical as well. They also appear to be more patient and sensitive, adding an even larger boost to their creativity. So, if you want to supercharge your brain power and give you more reasons to feel good about yourself, just turn on some Chopin while you do your homework.
So go ahead and queue up some classical music as we take a closer look on how classical music for studying can directly impact your study habits.
Classical Music Can Make You Happy
The average person listens to up to 32 hours of music per week. That’s an impressive amount of time we spend listening to rap, rock and pop music. We all know the power of our favorite song and how excited we get when you get to hear it. If you added classical music to your playlist, hit shuffle, and spent 32 hours a week listening to it, you will notice an incredible change in your outlook on life. You will feel less rushed and busy all of the time.
Classical music reduces the deployment of the stress hormone. Classical music compositions are loaded with upbeat melodies, which in turn, improve your mood. When you share music with others, the brain releases Oxytocin, ‘The Trust Molecule’ which will cause you to feel connected and bonded to the other person or people in the room. Imagine if you shared Mozart at your next study group. Everyone would be in happier mood, and working together with renewed vigor and much more efficiently! The repetition of studying puts most in a foul mood. Monotony is a confidence and mood suppressant, and classical music breaks the boring cycle. If you have a group working together on a project, put on classical music for studying to unleash everyone’s creativity and confidence.
Classical Music Makes You Smarter
Back to school season is among us, and that means dusting off our summer brains to prepare for another year of learning. For students of all ages, studying can become a very stressful part of obtaining an education. Establishing good study habits can take some time, and doesn’t exactly come easy to most of us. We’ve all been there- procrastination and sacrificing sleep to cram it all in at once. Rarely does this work out in our favor. But one thing we do all have in common, is our love for music.
Bach and Beethoven may not be your first choice, but you are missing out if you don’t give it a listen at your next study session. When you play classical music for studying, it triggers brain waves that are linked to our memories. It can also help you to relax so you can focus more on those books. When you listen to classical music tuned down to 432Hz, your senses are also more awake and alert. Anything higher has proven to cause inner ear disturbances and feelings of uneasiness in the listener.
One of the most crucial parts of learning starts with our memories. The more you retain, the smarter you become, right? We remember more when our brains and emotions are at calm baseline. So create a comfortable space,, free from the demands of the household and the cat. Purchase a classical music CD or two and get ready to do your best work. You will immediately discover that if you play classical music, it contributes to creating a stress free and calming environment. The calmer you feel, the less likely you are to forget important information.
Classical music has the power to alleviate those tense muscles you always get from poring over those books all day. And those days of panic and fear that you forgot something that’s going to be on a final exam, can be over. Imagine how awesome it would feel to be excited and motivated to learn?
Learning Disorders and Classical Music
Nowadays, the diagnosis of learning disabilities is on the rise. As we become more aware of disabilities through science and psychiatry, we are starting to taking a closer look at the brain. Scientists speculate that the complex sounds of classical music gives a boost to the firing patterns in the cortex of the brain. These studies have also shown that individuals suffering with Alzheimer’s and dementia have scored better on spatial IQ tests after they have listened to Mozart.
If you or someone you know has a child (or an adult) that suffers from learning disabilities such as autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADD, ADHD and mental retardation, you are probably well aware of how it can feel daunting just to keep them learning at the same pace of his or her peers. Individuals who have trouble learning will oftentimes will feel depressed, frustrated and like they can’t learn at all. As a parent or caregiver, you may feel overwhelmed. Meltdowns and fits can be a thing of the past, just by pushing play.
The good news is that classical music for studying has shown to have a powerful impact on the overall health of a special needs person. It teaches them patience and soothes their emotions, allowing them to be more focused, less impulsive, and bring them back to feeling good about themselves. Those children that are exposed to classical music are shown to feel more comfortable about how they feel. We know this to be factual, because classical music has certain sequences that are repeated throughout the composition. These often occur at 20-30 second intervals and the average brain wave pattern is exactly 30 seconds, making a musical piece extremely powerful.
Say Goodbye to Insomnia
A well rested student will always perform better, academically, than someone who is barely getting by every night. A study done by The Sleep Foundation shows that listening to classical music 45 minutes before you go to bed improves the overall quality of your sleep. If insomnia or too many all-nighters are getting you into a rut, listen to classical music before you go to bed and you will soon be performing at your highest level and improve your study habits.
The proof that classical music for studying has a direct impact on our brains, hearts and body is out there. Give classical music a try and then give us a tweet at www.twitter.com/MusicArtsFan . You can even share your own study tips and techniques with us over at www.Facebook.com/MusicArtsFan