Music is a big part of my life, and I’m sure this is the case for the majority of college students as well. I’m constantly listening to music, whether I’m walking to class, relaxing in my room, or working out at the gym. I love listening to all types of music, and I’m constantly on the hunt for new songs or albums to listen to. I’ll listen to any kind of music, and I love when I learn about new songs from my friends. Listening to music automatically helps me feel better. I’m fascinated by the effects that music has on the human brain. Time and time again, people have wondered: Does music make you smarter?
Scientists have been researching the effects of music on the brain for a long time. I’m interested in the discoveries they’ve made, because maybe all of the music I’ve been listening to will help me out in the long run. Before I even discuss what science has to say on the matter, I absolutely think that music can help make people smarter. I think music can help me to focus, and it helps to relieve stress. Overall, listening to music helps me become more relaxed and less tense.
Many professionals tend to agree with me. One study, which I learned about here, suggested that early exposure to music can lead to children having higher IQ scores and reading levels. I can definitely attest to this. When I was about eight years old, my mom enrolled me in music classes at my school. A few times a week, I would meet with my class, and we would play musical instruments and listen to different songs. It was during this same time that I was given a standardized reading test, because my mom feared that my reading level was not up to par with that of my peers. On this reading test, I got the same score that an average seventh grader would receive. Now this could be due to the fact that I was absolutely obsessed with reading the Harry Potter series around the same time, but it also could have had something to do with music.
Now, some people think that it’s the listening to and performing of music that can make you smarter, but others believe something else. According to this article, it’s the studying of music that actually increases brain functionality. The term ‘musical aptitude’ refers to one’s ability to learn music. It is very clear that not everyone has the same abilities when it comes to learning music. However, it has not been determined whether musical aptitude is something people are born with, or if it is something that is learned at an early age. I, for one, know that I am very musically inept. My music career started and ended with those music lessons I took when I was eight. This leads me to believe that musical aptitude is something that is learned throughout one’s lifetime. Some people have a knack for music, while others simply do not.
I know that I certainly won’t be the next Mozart, and I’m okay with that. However, I strongly believe that listening/performing music can help cognitive functions. From what I’ve gathered, nobody has found any negative impacts of music, only positive ones. Now, I know that listening to music won’t suddenly boost my GPA to a 4.0, but I do think that only good things can come from listening to music.