Music is so much more than enjoyment for our ears. It affects our minds and souls to create a multi-sensory experience that goes far beyond listening. The power that different sounds can have on us is tremendous—as any music fan knows, a single song can immediately impact our mood. When I play music, I am connecting with my audience on a deep emotional level. During a live show, I love seeing how my performance affects them just as their response affect me. Playing guitar for a live audience is more than just entertainment, but a shared experience that resonates both with those on stage and in the seats. Here are four magical ways that music affects us, both as a musician and a listener:
Brings us together. Music is often a social activity that can connect us with each other through singing, listening, and feeling emotions together. Just think about how you and your friends react when your favorite song comes on the radio—the lyrics and beats create a bond between those singing along. Music also brings us closer to the musician, especially during live performance, through the experience of watching, listening, and feeling his or her passion for the art.
Sets the mood. Certain sounds, tempos, lyrics and instrumental arrangements evoke different emotions within us. An upbeat song can create positive energy in our minds, while a slower beat can calm our brains down. The ways music impacts our mood is one of the main reasons people love listening to it!
Makes us smarter. That’s right, music definitely boosts our brainpower. For artists, the ability to play music goes far beyond talent but includes a great amount of intelligence. Those who are musically inclined have different brain chemistry than the rest of us, just as some of us are better at math or the arts. Listening to music, despite your ability to play it or not, increases brain function. It improves critical thinking skills as we analyze what we are hearing, and makes our minds work to decipher the different melodies and arrangements—just like retaining information through reading or thinking.
Creates memories. Just like a photo, a song can spark a specific memory or thought. Some artists remind us of our childhood, some songs of our college days, some bands of a concert we attended. The distinctive sound of each musical genre can trigger memories in our brains associated with that sound—what a cool way to remember something!