Why Is Music Important To Us – 22 Reasons Backed By Science

Music is a universal language. Songs convey a message and no matter where you’re from or what language you speak, you can understand its message.

Let’s dive right into it.

22 Reasons Why Music Is Important To Us

  1. When listening to music we’re able to use our entire brain, not just left or right, or frontal lobe or parietal lobe.
  2. Specific tones can be used for healing targeted areas of the body.
  3. The right kind of music can have a calming effect on the nervous system and may ease anxiety.
  4. The body releases endorphins while listening to music, helping to lessen physical pain.
  5. The endorphins released may also reduce seizures in people.
  6. Music can also help decrease the intensity of migraines and fewer headaches.
  7. Since music can elicit happiness, it has a strengthening effect on the immune system.
  8. With the overall effect on the brain, music may make it easier for many stroke patients who are learning how to walk and talk again.
  9. Music can influence people’s moods by changing their brain waves.
  10. Music can help people feel more motivated and empowered.
  11. Soothing songs help many people relax and fall asleep easier.
  12. Singing along with songs you like can make people feel more spirited.
  13. Sad songs can lead to less motivation in people.
  14. Different types of music or specific songs can bring up specific memories and feelings from past experiences.
  15. Learn to play an instrument to enhance children’s motor skills.
  16. Music is a form of art bringing people together.
  17. Music inspires movement, allowing people to express themselves through dance and fitness.
  18. People who listen to happy music have significantly higher divergent thinking, leading to way more innovative ideas.
  19. Loud harsh music illicites a fear response.
  20. Music can enhance cognition and improve academic skills.
  21. Music also has the same effects on animals for relaxation and mood.
  22. By using music with binaural beats you can invoke a meditative state easily.
Why Is Music Important
Photo by Elice Moore on Unsplash

Why Is Music Important In Life?

Music innervates daily life, and just as emotional health is critical to your humanity, music, sound, and vibration are important to your overall well being. 

However, sound doesn’t even need to be structured to make people respond in an emotional and physiological way. 

Think back to the last time you were sitting quietly, minding your own business, focusing on some project. Out of nowhere the air is split by the sound of a glass or a plate clattering on the ground.

You snap to attention, briefly entering fight-or-flight fear mode.

This gut reaction to jump and become afraid at loud noises is deeply woven into human genetics.

Loud noises elicit a fear response, including increased blood pressure and pulse rate, in order to keep you alive.

That type of fight-or-flight, sympathetic nervous system reaction begins the release of chemicals, which shut down immune functions like viral defense and increases pro-inflammatory monocytes.

So if you’re constantly exposed to loud noises or sounds that cause a similar reaction to a nonstick pan colliding with tile, or louder, you may be allowing minor inflammation, adversely affecting your physical health.

However, if you expose yourself to sounds that are more wholesome and melodious, you can reduce the damaging effects of other sounds.

You can even heal yourself of a myriad of diseases and decrease the prevalence of harmful mental states and degenerative physiological conditions.

Neuroscientist Seth Horowitz talks about the “right rhythms” for your brain.

Your body is literally humming (albeit very quietly) with energy at specific vibrational frequencies, which is just like what music or sounds do.

With EEG (electroencephalography) machines, a few major brain wave states have been identified that underpin the human cortex (the largest part of the brain that plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness). 

Each brain wave changes under different physiological and cognitive conditions.

  • The theta rhythm is the slowest (4-8 Hz) and rises at least in part from the hippocampus during memory processing.
  • The alpha rhythm (6-12 Hz) is generated by connections between different parts of the cortex and the cortex and the thalamus.
  • The beta rhythm (20 Hz) is generated in the motor cortex to control voluntary movement, and is usually only seen right after a person stops moving, acting as a sort of “off switch”.
  • The gamma rhythm (40 Hz), may be involved in binding together individual sensory inputs and feedback loops that let you observe the world as a coherent, consistent environment.

These waves interact with your entire body all the time and this is how sickness, disease, depression, and stress cause human beings to vibrate at a lower frequency, according to Horowitz.

Dr. David Hawkins has written several books regarding frequency. He explains how frequencies, including audible frequencies produced by sound and music, can elicit either positive or negative emotion. 

Musical frequencies can elicit positive vibrations in the cells and tissues in your body – but they can also cause negative vibrations.

That’s why some music makes you feel really good, while some can stress you out to no end even if you like the song.

Importance Of Music
Photo by MARK S. on Unsplash

What Is The Point Of Music?

Music is an art form whose medium is sound, or frequency.

The word “music” is derived from the Greek, “mousike”, or “art of the muses”.

As humans we are motivated to communicate our experiences, feelings, and states of being. 

That motivation led us to develop our creative nature. Our creativity allows us to find outlets for this expression. Music is one way we for this expression and we therefore learn about the world through song.

Music communicates emotion. No matter what culture you’re from or what language you speak, music will communicate specific feelings in everyone. 

It’s not the words in music that necessarily conveys the feelings we’re communicating.

This humbling point is revealed by lullabies.

The baby doesn’t understand what’s being said but the sound has its effect all the same. The baby is showing us that we are all tonal creatures long before we are creatures of understanding. 

As adults, we learn through the significance of words of course, but there remains a sensory level the way music cuts through and affects far more than an argument or an idea ever could.

The musician can, at points, trump anything the philosopher might tell us.

Why Is Music So Special?

As we know, sound is created by the vibration of specific frequencies travelling through the air and it’s picked up by our ears which is then interpreted by our brain.

The hippocampus is a part of the limbic system that controls emotion while the prefrontal cortex controls intense emotion. The parietal lobe is the area of the brain in charge of reasoning and administering information.

Music has such an impact on our brain that it can even alter these different parts.

Music education can help children learn easier. Children who learn to play a musical instrument wires their young minds to make an enhanced performance in academics.

A recent study from the University of California found that music is important for training the brain for higher forms of thinking. 

Second graders who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special musical instruction. 

Playing instruments and fingerplay can develop the most crucial motor skills in even very young kids.

From the primary stage of holding an instrument to the higher stage of boldly manipulating a little glockenspiel mallet, the power of music can develop broader motor skills in your kids.

It changes people’s brain waves and changes how they feel. Studies show that music significantly increased people’s mood time and time again.

When one is upset, the best thing they can do is play a cheerful song.

The body releases serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that makes people happy while also releasing the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which makes people even happier. 

Music lasts a lifetime. Most people can’t play soccer, or football into their 70’s or 80’s but they can sing or play an instrument. 

Music is one important gift you can give your child that will last their entire lives no matter where they are in the world.

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

What Are The Benefits Of Music?

Whether it’s for relaxation or sleep, listening to music can calm the nervous system and soften the muscles and joints. If it’s used to lift your mood making you feel motivated and powerful, the harmonious frequencies of music have many benefits.

Our whole brain is engaged when listening to music. 

So music can be important when used therapeutically as well. 

Daniel Levitin, is a psychologist at McGill University in Montreal, who studies the neuroscience of music. He published a 400 study meta-analysis. 

One study was done with people that were about to have surgery. As one would think, people are very anxious before undergoing surgery.

One group listened to music before going in and the other was given drugs to help calm them instead.

We learn through the studies that the people who listened to music were actually calmer before going into the room for surgery.

Not only does listening to music help with anxiety it also helps with pain.

Studies show that since it helps relax people it is great for people who are giving birth.

Music Is Good For The Soul And Your Health

Another reason for this is because music releases endorphins, which makes people happy. These endorphins help counteract and distract people from the pain.

Music has been shown to improve cognition and enhance learning and memory in different studies. It makes sense then, that perhaps it has an impact on creative thinking, too. 

In another experiment, participants tried creativity exercises that measured divergent or convergent thinking while being exposed to either silence (the control scenario) or classical music that evoked four distinct emotional states: happy, calm, sad, or anxious.

After comparing participant performance on divergent and convergent thinking in the five scenarios, the researchers found that the one group who’d listened to happy music had significantly higher scores on divergent thinking than those who’d performed in silence.

In other words, they came up with more total ideas, and more creative and innovative ideas (as rated by people who were unfamiliar with the study’s aim). The other types of music did not have this impact.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of music is that it can reunite us with feelings we need, but have lost touch with.

It can offer dignity to our sorrows, framing and containing what might otherwise be unmanageable grief.

Music returns us to life, gently nudging us to return to the side of generosity, hope and compassion. 

It can take us beyond the everyday world, to transcend the ordinary and view ourselves from a lofty height.

It reconnects us with our instinctual, bodily selves when reason, logic and discipline are in danger of crushing us.

It breaks down the barriers between strangers – urging us to see what we have in common, rather than what divides us.

Music is life enhancing if you choose well.

I hope this helped you learn more about what makes music important to us. Please leave a comment and share this article with your friends.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.