Music is one of mankind’s most powerful and influential mediums: nothing else has the power to get us moving and grooving quite like a rhythmic beat, and nothing else has the power to unite such a unique and diverse global population quite like a soul-stirring song. Not only does music serve as the optimum emotional release, it has also been proven to be extremely beneficial to our health:
1. Music can help to ease pain
The autonomic nervous system (the part of the nervous system responsible for controlling our blood pressure, heartbeat and neurological function) and the limbic system (the part of the brain in charge of our feelings and emotions) can both be influenced by music. A Korean study cited by Dr Mark Liponis in his book UltraLongevity found that music therapy had the ability to diminish the pain of fractures in people with broken legs. A study conducted in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that when Fibromyalgia patients were exposed to ten-minutes of their favourite type of music that was slower than 120 beats per minute- no matter what the genre- they experienced far less pain than when they listened to, for example, pink noise. Professor of Music Therapy, Cheryl Dileo, claims that: “This is because music seems to stimulate the release of pain making endorphins in the brain.”
Music can be particularly helpful for pain in the back and the neck; slower rhythms help reduce our heart rate which causes our blood pressure to lessen. This results in a slower rate of respiration which reduces the tension in our back, neck, shoulders and stomach. Listening to music frequently can help us relax both mentally and physically, and this is what helps prevent or reduce pain.
2. Listening to music can help you stay focused
A 2007 study from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that listening to music from the late baroque period leads to adjustments in the brain that greatly improve our attention span as well as certain aspects of memory.
For the many people suffering from memory loss, the spoken word becomes futile or alien. Listening to music however, can be extremely beneficial; a particular sequence of notes or a familiar harmony can help patients remember a specific tune or song, and thus puts them in touch with their past. The reason for this is that the part of the brain that processes music is located right next to our memory store. Miami University’s School of Medicine uncovered that the blood levels of mood-enhancing chemicals significantly rose in Alzheimer’s patients who were exposed to music. These patients developed a much better sleeping pattern, and were also more active and co-operative, further proving that music can aid brain, as well as memory, function.
3. Music really does cheer you up
It has been scientifically proven that music is good for the soul; by helping people to express themselves, music therapy combined with the appropriate care can be an effective short-term cure for depression.
The reason we find music so uplifting is because certain songs or musical patterns literally give us chills, and this leads to an increase in dopamine which consequently makes us feel happier.
It’s obvious that music has a great effect on us and can not only help improve our mood, but help us improve as individuals. Whilst listening to music is extremely rewarding, there are many of us who want to become more involved, whether that be through picking up an instrument, singing to our heart’s content, or through writing or producing music.
If you are passionate about music and really want to hone in on your talents, there are a host of outstanding music schools with the staff, mentality and facilities to mould your raw skill into something out of this world. The best music schools will be able to help you grow your musical skills, allowing you to follow your individual interests and passions, whilst helping you gain the knowledge you need to be successful in the music business. You will get the chance to learn how to apply your talents not only to practical music but also careers within the industry.
Leading music schools will be able to offer you first-class facilities, such as high-tech performance areas, industry standard equipment and purpose built recording studios. You will also be able to benefit from high quality teaching from experts in the industry – teachers with first-hand experience and often visiting performers, who can provide an insight straight into the business.
It’s very important to do your research to uncover the specific course or program that best suits your passions and needs, but to help you on your way, here is a list of some of the leading global music institutions that the world has to offer:
The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music (SZCSOM) was established at Monash University in 1965. From its beginnings, the School offered an inspired educational program that rapidly transformed it into the national trendsetter in music education. The School’s teaching program strikes a fine balance between practical and academic activities, and also giving students the flexibility to shape a course of study tailored to individual professional aspirations. Students learn the music profession as an industry and a business; they are guided to understand how they can fit into these areas after graduation and how to build their lifelong careers. Read the full profile…
The International College of Music (ICOM) is Asia’s leading college of contemporary music. ICOM’s primary mission is to discover and develop exceptional music talents. It offers career-centric programs that meet the specific demands of the industry, and in-turn produces graduates that are technically and creatively adept to shape the future of their business. ICOM is a warm and productive environment that fully welcomes, appreciates and respects the diversity of its students. ICOM offers student-centred, comprehensive programs, delivered by talented industry professionals, dedicated to bringing the inner-virtuoso out of each and every one of their students. Read the full profile…
Located at the heart of a city which hosts more than 200 music venues and a thriving independent arts scene, Leeds College of Music (LCoM) is the ideal location for young artists seeking opportunities for promotion and performance. LCoM provides its students with a variety of progressive teaching methods which can be experienced in contexts as diverse as small, supportive tutor groups and masterclasses with globally acclaimed musicians. Regardless of their preferred musical genre, the College is committed to ensuring not only that its graduates are prepared to excel within the music industry but also that they have the skills and confidence they need to develop their own unique identities as artists.
The University of North Texas College of Music is one of the finest comprehensive music schools in the USA. Music students from around the world go to pursue their passion for music at the UNT College of Music, cultivating their skills in one of the many music programs. Led by more than 100 full-time faculty members, the UNT College of Music offers a creative, challenging and collaborative environment to nurture students’ lifelong involvement with music. UNT provides education opportunities to 36,000 students and offers 98 bachelor’s, 82 master’s and 36 doctoral degree programs.
Located in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, Humber prides itself on its academic reputation and the incredible life experience offered to international students. With students from more than 90 countries studying here each year, Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning is an incredibly welcoming and accessible institution. The College offers a range of internationally recognized creative and performing arts programs, including high quality music courses, for passionate individuals.