“Music engages your brain’s reward system, releasing a feel-good neurotransmitter called dopamine – the same chemical that is released when we taste delicious food, see something beautiful, or fall in love.”
– Alex Doman, Music and Brain Expert
It is incredibly important to take time to engage in activities that bring happiness and joy. For some this may be spending time with family, or taking walks in nature, or painting. A common answer is music! Many people find listening to music, playing music, learning an instrument, or singing to be a joyful activity. Of course, it’s no surprise that music can positively impact our mental health. Studies across the globe have shown that music causes our dopamine and serotonin levels to rise; plus, people all over have experienced the joy of watching live music, or hearing their favourite song.
This year especially has been a challenge for so many; with constant stressors and changes happening across the globe, it is more important than ever for people to engage in a hobby. There has never been a better time to take up music: whether it’s learning a new instrument, practicing singing, active listening, or supporting local musicians and live music in any way you can!
Crescendo Music Studios has been working hard to continue to provide quality music instruction while also keeping our studios and students safe and clean. With COVID barriers in each room, extensive sanitization processes, personal instruments for all staff, and new and innovative teaching techniques, we are thrilled to watch our studio once again be a fun and uplifting environment for music learning. Please give us a call at (780) 570-5699 if you have any questions or would like to book your introductory flex pass offer and start your music learning journey today.
So How Can Music Reduce Stress?
As said by Health Psychology Review, “music interventions are used for stress reduction in a variety of settings because of the positive effects of music listening on both physiological arousal (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure, and hormonal levels) and psychological stress experiences (e.g., restlessness, anxiety, and nervousness).” This means that music has a calming effect on our heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety and nervousness levels! You can read more from that paper here.
We’ve all heard about the incredible power of music during the global pandemic. Stories emerged all over social media about how music brought people together, without actually bringing people together. Thousands sang together on their balconies in Italy, live streams emerged from all corners of the globe, and local artists (even in Edmonton!) began performing outdoor concerts for small neighbourhoods!
The reason for this is simple: music reduces stress and anxiety by raising our dopamine levels in our brain. Dopamine is the same chemical in our brains that happens when we feel joy: such as when we are laughing, or eating chocolate, or falling in love. No wonder it relaxes us! Music Therapists have known this for many years, and as stated in this article by the University of Michigan, “songs allow you, and those around you, help to calm your nervous system, relax and heal your soul.” Read more about how to bring music therapy into your life here.
Do I Have to Know Music to Benefit From it?
The answer is: no! Although learning an instrument is a wonderful endeavour, and we highly recommend doing so, you don’t NEED to know music to enjoy it. Take part in active listening; choose an album or artist you love and listen to their album without doing other tasks. Decide what you like about it, maybe listen with a friend and discuss it after! Or, try an album someone recommended, but you’ve never heard before. If you play an instrument, exposing yourself to new music is a wonderful way to grow as a musician as well.
If you’d like to learn more about ways to incorporate active listening in your life, check out this article from chopra.com.
If you don’t play an instrument but you love to sing, then start singing! Purposefully sing a song each and every day, without worrying about what you sound like. Don’t forget to warm up your voice, drink lots of water, and take breaks! If you want to learn more about how to properly sing and protect your voice, book some vocal lessons. Singing is one of the most joyful activities in the world. Check out the Ted Talk we have included below regarding how music and singing changes our brain and makes us happier!
Ted Talk: how music and singing changes our brain and makes us happier
“If everyone started off the day singing, just think how happy they’d be.”
– Lauren Myracle, Shine
Thank you to Leanne Cummings and Shalynn Cavanagh for sharing this article with us.