Music And Its Effects On The Individual And The Music Selection

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We have all been in school before and attempted to put on our headphones in class and had the teacher tell us to put the headphones away and start focusing. While a fair amount of people believe that listening to music while doing work is distracting, a much smaller amount of people understand that it actually depends on the individual and the music selection. Humans process music in different ways based on how much knowledge or musical training that particular person has (O’Donnell 1997). O’Donnell (1997) said, “[a]n experienced and accomplished musician might hear and feel a piece of music in a totally different way than a non-musician or beginner” (para. 5). When a non-musician hears a piece of music, he or she may only interpret it as a beautiful piece of music that is pleasing to the ear. When a classical performer hears the same piece of music, he or she may feel a variety of emotions all the way from anger, to happiness, and everything in between. O’Donnell (1997) also said that, “[m]usic is thought to link all of the emotional, spiritual, and physical elements of the universe” (para. 4). Much the same when a trained ear hears dissonance in a song, opposed to a layman. In general, the trained ear hears all the intricate harmonies and understands the story the music tells, while the layman’s ear hears ugliness and interprets the harmonies as wrong notes. The way that humans interpret the music that they hear, determines how the music will affect them. Different effects can include: relaxation, lowered blood pressure, better information retention, even muscle strengthening and weakening, and much more (O’Donnell 1997). Music’s emotional effect on the human body is quite astounding, but the physical... ... middle of paper ... ...of sadness by triggering chemical releases in our brains (Zatorre 2011). O’Donnell (1999) has proved that “activities that engage both sides of the brain at the same time, such as playing an instrument or singing, causes the brain to be more capable of processing information” (para. 9). Music is strengthening to our brain by engaging every major part at the same time, causing the brain to become more functional, which still baffles musicians and scientists alike. There are numerous health benefits such as, lowered blood pressure and regulated breathing (Jourdain 1997). Though music serves as a form of pleasure, it also does things for us when we are not even paying attention. We learn while we experience feelings of happiness, and that it the best way to learn anything. Music can open doors to things un-thought of with a little help from our imagination and science.

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