• Joanna

Music and the brain

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

How often do you lie in your bed listening to your favourite music? What do you feel while you listen to it? Where do those unexplained emotions come from? Why do you feel comfortable with organised musical structure? Simple tunes or repetitive pattern, with percussion to accent the rhythm or violins playing a calming tune?


Our brain has an amazing ability to absorb music. As soon as music enters our ears, it hits and stimulates visceral systems ( spinal motor neutrons and vestibular ). This often wants us to ‘move to the beat’ and it is also responsible for those feelings we get.

Music also helps to release dopamine . Dopamine acts like a messenger between our brain cells. Dopamine is responsible for many aspects of our life, how we move and how we learn – this depends of the level of dopamine. Dopamine also plays an important role in the reward experience induced by music. It makes us want to listen to our favourite music even more.


There are many parts in our brain, which are affected by music, one of them is hippocampus. Hippocampus is connected to our memory and emotional reactions. It is responsible for music-evoked positive emotions, which can reduce stress hormones.


I could multiply an example of which part of the brain is affected by music, and why, but my aim is not to write a scientific publication, but to make it as simple as it can be.


Please, see two videos for more information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y3mdkIa4Xc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUT9UTVrwp8


People often ask why music therapy can help with autism, Parkinson’s disease, etc. and how music can help with pain. This is why music therapy sessions are so important.


I hope I have managed to answer most of these questions in my above text. My music therapy programs delivered in Northampton and surrounding area can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, alleviating pain plus many more.


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