Annemarie’s Analogies

Annemarie’s Analogies

I started listening to music at the ripe age of 12, and before I knew it my music obsession consumed me. I listen to music during homework, in school, in the shower, during swim competitions, before races, in between school, during swim practice and in the gym; 24/7. What some people don’t see (or should I say hear) about music is its widespread range of genres and tunes and beats you can listen to. No song is the same, and different songs are for different moods. Whether it’s jamming out in the car with your mom, getting mentally prepared before a competition, or crying to slow songs, there is no set way that music can make you feel. Whether you listen to music or not, it is beneficial to not only make life more awesome, but it can also help with your sanity and mental health. But before you can fully delve into how music affects us, you have to understand why it’s so potent to our wellbeing. Music is everywhere. You get sung lullabies when you are a baby, music is played at special memorable events such as birthdays, weddings and graduations; and music is heavily involved in sports and working out to get “hype.” But how does music have such a strong effect on the human mind, so much so it can completely flip our moods? 

Well, it’s all in the programmed science of our bodies. When you listen to music, there are vibrations of different pitch, volume and tone that increase blood flow in brain regions that generate and control emotions. This helps your body reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain. It can also improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness and memory. Basically, music positively increases activity and health in your brain functions. The best part is, that there are so many genres of music you can choose from for all different occasions and circumstances. Each genre has its unique effect on the human body depending on the split of the pitch and tone of the music, and everyone reacts to music differently. Pop music can make you energized, boost your energy and release endorphins, Jazz music can help you relax and de-stress, while heavy metal can create a strong sense of identity or sometimes, nervousness and adrenaline. Regardless of what genre of music is your favorite, when you listen to music all four of the parts of your brain ⎯ frontal lobe, temporal lobe, occipital lobe, and parietal lobe ⎯  are all reacting when music is heard.

But besides all the science that happens inside of your mind and soul that is associated with listening to music, it is also just a hobby on its own. It’s a way for someone to express themselves and a way for them to find a sense of self. Everyone likes different types of music and some people can connect and form valuable relationships solely based on music interests. A person’s music taste can influence the way they think, dress, react, and so much more, and its impact on mood is major. 

A strong, well known proof of music’s magical abilities to heal and energize is music in sports. Athletes are around music all the time, whether it’s at practice, meet warm-ups or walk-out songs; it’s everywhere. Music helps get athletes pumped or can help them relax when stressed out about competing. Music has a cure for everything, which is why it is so widely known and utilized. A more controversial yet popular place where music is well known is school. Many students listen to music in school, working up from fifth grade to college. There is a long standing debate, however, that music in school is not beneficial to students and harms a student’s ability to study, memorize and focus. Many studies argue both sides of listening to music while studying, but regardless, I believe that it simply depends on the students themselves. I have heard different people describe different ways that they study easier; some people have their study playlist with only background music, some people listen to slow songs, and some people, like in my experience, listen to any kind of music, regardless of words or not. I believe these studies cannot prove anything relating to how well a student studies while listening to music since everyone’s reaction to music is so unique and individualized. 

If you get anything from this column, it should be these two things: Annemarie loves music, and if you aren’t on your music grind, you better get on top of it.

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