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Everybody has support mechanisms that keep them motivated or calm them down when needed. I think that music can play a role of such a mechanism because of its ability to transfer emotions that a person feels. It is not a secret that when someone is sad, he or she will play the music that will be suitable for that particular emotion. No wonder that people have closer connections to music when they are in their teens – the large spectrum of emotions that they experience is usually released through the music that they listen to.
Researchers have intensively studied whether music could benefit people from the psychological perspective and found some correlations between music listening and the improvement of psychological functions such as mood, self-awareness, arousal, and others (Schafer, Sedlmeier, Stadtler, & Huron, 2013). Such findings show that music has the potential of facilitating people’s development as fully-rounded and mentally stable individuals. For children, music has been shown to activate brain subsystems involved in expressing emotions or motivation and subsequently enhance activity (Henze, 2013).
For instance, children who do not speak a second language fluently are more likely to be successful in participating in music activities because they are universal and do not require any particular skills. Among patients diagnosed with complex conditions such as Parkinson’s, therapy strategies such as music-based movement can contribute to the improvement of gait-related activities (de Dreu, van der Wilk, Poppe, Kwakkel, & van Wegen, 2012).
These findings show that music plays a large role in our lives and is not limited to a particular sphere – it can provide emotional support to people in distress while being proven by research to benefit patients clinically or to enhance children’s learning and cognition.
de Dreu, M., van der Wilk, A., Poppe, E., Kwakkel, G., & van Wegen, E. (2012). Rehabilitation, exercise therapy and music in patients with Parkinson’s disease: A meta-analysis of the effects of music-based movement therapy on walking ability, balance and quality of life. Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, 18(1), 114-119.
Henze, A. (2013). The effects of music on childhood development. Web.
Schafer, T., Sedlmeier, P., Stadtler, C., & Huron, D. (2013). The psychological functions of music listening. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(511), 2-33.