“Our study shows that the common idea that ‘music makes children smarter’ is incorrect,” says Giovanni Sala, the lead author of the meta-analysis.
The synchronization — or “inter-brain coherence” — is even stronger when the listener enjoys the music, the study found.
“Music is critical at all points in time, but now it’s even more,” said Paul Babcock, president and CEO of MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.
The effect can be seen even with single words, researchers found. The use of the word “love” in the top 100 songs, for example, has dropped in half since 1965.
“Music may be considered an important tool to stimulate people engaging in low-intensity physical exercise,” the researchers concluded.
“This is a chance to see some amazing music in a really fun setting,” says Nate Dungan, the Fair’s live music booker.
“Music lights up the emotional area of the brain, the reward system and the pleasure pathways,” said Dr. Veena Graff, the study’s lead author.
The effect was observed among all types of high school music students, although it was stronger among those who played an instrument than among those who sang.
Not only did the researchers discover that music fails to inspire more imaginative thinking, they found that it has the opposite effect — it “consistently disrupts creative performance in insight problems.”
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As far back as 1980, Dr. Samuel Vaisrub, a physician and JAMA editor, suggested that Beethoven’s arrhythmia can be detected in his compositions.
The benefits appear to result not just from the making of music, but also from the socializing that occurs when people get together regularly to sing.
The study’s participants were particularly good at identifying dance songs and lullabies. They were a bit less adept at recognizing love songs and healing songs.
The neural differences may explain why jazz and classically trained musicians tend to excel in their own style of music, and why it’s rare to find someone who has mastered both, researchers say.
Interestingly, the study also found that music — of any kind — has no effect on people’s ability to perform problem-solving cognitive tasks.
Playing music — whether Beethoven or Bieber — to chimpanzees has no effect on the animals’ behavior or wellbeing, according to a new study.
Musicians react faster to sensory stimuli — specifically, sound and touch — than nonmusicians, a recent study of university students found.
“Our findings show that you can to some extent predict which songs are going to get stuck in people’s heads based on the song’s melodic content,” said Kelly Jakubowski, the study’s lead author.
If you’re a musician who plays a wind instrument, such as a saxophone, a trombone or the bagpipes — be sure to clean your instrument regularly and thoroughly.