There are two very popular beliefs in relation to the effect of music on the listener. The one is that classical music helps you study better, and the other is that heavy metal makes you aggressive. But is this true? And what is the effect of music on the brain actually?
The effect of music on the brain
Music can have all kinds of effects on the listener’s brain. This is because the brain actually releases certain neurochemicals when you hear music. The most common chemical to get released is dopamine, the chemical that activates the reward centre of your brain. When dopamine gets released, you’ll want to repeat the behaviour that led to the secretion because it makes you feel good.
Different genres and the brain
Different genres have different effects on the brain because the music’s structure differs. Of the two statements above, one is a fact and one is a myth. Can you guess which is which?
It is believed that classical music can help you to focus better when you study. Research has shown this to be true. The study showed that people performed tasks better while listening to classical music. However, listening to classical music while pregnant will not make your child smarter – research has shown this to be a myth.
Many people believe that heavy metal, because of its aggressive sound, that it leads to aggressive behaviour. This is not true. Research has shown that heavy metal music can actually calm an angry or stressed person down.
Apart from music, natural ambient sounds might also help you to focus better while working or studying. This would be sounds like running water, rain, celestial white noise, or coffee shop sounds.
People’s brains react differently
Some people find that they focus better with background noise or music, while others find it distracting. There is no one-size-fits-all solution here, so you should find what works for yourself.