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Effects Of Music

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Bill Cosby said "Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastination and weird clothes." Music is an essential part of life. It shows, as Bill Cosby said, "passion" It can inspire one to dance, sing, laugh, scream, and cry. Music is a motivational device and can move one to work harder and longer. Music can give a fresh jolt of energy. It can make you feel relieved, kind, and change your mood altogether. Oxford's Dictionary defines music as the art of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Music has been said to have benefits of health, mood, learning, and behavior, but it has also been found to have negative effects in the same ways. All throughout history music has always been thought to have effects on the body. Which types of music are better for mood, health (both physical and mental), learning, behavior? Is classical music really better for the body than that of rock and roll?

Music has many psychological aspects, it has been said to increase learning. Psychologists did a study with six year old children who took weekly musical lessons, such as piano or singing. These children who did take weekly music lessons had an average IQ increase of seven points. Other six year old kids who had no weekly musical lessons or received no extracurricular lessons had an average IQ increase of four point three points. Musical training requires kids to pay very close attention for long periods of time, to read notation, to memorize long passages and master fine motor skills. One musicologist said that background music helps students memorize negative facts, like the death toll of a war, but cheerful music helps students remember positive facts, such as when electricity was found. Preschoolers studying the keyboard achieve higher science and math score than that of a control group. Listening to music is a right brain function. The brain is divided into two hemispheres and scientists have found that the left is mainly devoted to rational analytical functioning such as math and language while the right contains the main centers for emotion, imagination, and intuition. Music can also create a mental image. The Readers Digest tells a story of a man who was asked to play the cello for a group of male teenagers who were in prison. The man had to follow a hip hop group. While the prisoners were listening to the hip hop group the man noticed that all of the teens were bobbing their heads with the music and some were even dancing along. He noted that he regretted agreeing to play for prisoners. Finally it was his turn to play for the group. He played "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens, but before he played the song he told them the song always made him think of his mother. He started playing the song and about midway through the song he noticed that the group wasn't moving at all, but that all of their attention was focused solely on him playing. A minute later he discovered that the group was sniffling and some were even crying, not because of the music but because he mentioned that it made him think of his mother. The music created a mental image of home and of mom. After he finished playing the song he played a different song. But when he finished that song the prisoners wanted him to play "The Swan" again. Music possesses mild hypnotic powers. A song might work with the music introducing a mild trance-like state and the lyrics providing the suggestion. Music has all sorts of powers and cello can even move rough, tough, and rugged prisoners.

Music is a great mood changer. When one hears a fast paced song one may want to start walking faster. A slow song may want one to sit down and relax. Music can change your mood from an angry mood to a melancholy and relaxed mood or vice versa. The Idaho State Journal printed a story about a student from Pocatello High was involved in a vicious stabbing. After further investigation, evidence was found that the boy was huge Slipknot fanatic. Slipknot is a heavy metal band who dresses up in a very angry manner. The lyrics of Slipknot are very vicious, angry, and sexual, and are often times screamed rather than really sung. The boys web site name mentioned slipknot in the web address. One of Slipknot's songs specifically talks about stabbing. Music can't really make anyone do anything but this boy obviously was moved by the music and he actually did what the song said and stabbed a fellow student at Pocatello High. Music may suggest, imply, nag but it cannot force anything upon anyone. Psychologists even use music for therapy. It can relieve headaches and anxiety and it can alleviate physical and emotional ills. Music can put an image in your mind and visualizing positive scenes or image can counteract negative feelings. Music acts as a form of communication. Music can help change moods.

One study found that music does not replace thoughts but would instead reroute them, and change the final outcome in a way. Particular Kinds of music may express things that appear to the



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