Music as an antidepressant?

When I was in the second grade, my parents thought it would be a great idea to have me learn a musical instrument. My brother had always played the violin so I decided to be different. I wanted to play the piano. I started off learning basic chords and learning how to read notes. I really liked it. I started to learn classical music. I took to the piano easily but as I grew a little older, I was no longer interested in classical music. I began searching for books in order to play contemporary music.

I really only wanted to play what I heard on the radio. I took a break at one point and then decided to pick it back up when I was going into high school. Now that I was older, every time I was stressed out or needed a break I turned to the piano. It was probably one of the only things that really relaxed me, that I had complete control over.

So as I started to think about it, music is my therapy. I’m no longer an avid piano player but I do know the piano is there whenever I need it. Playing an instrument has been compared to an antidepressant in an article I found here.


Picture found here.

In relation to music and your brain there are a number of connections. Playing the piano, or any other instrument for that matter will increase a portion of the brain that is responsible for your auditory ability. When the brain heres music, another part of your brain is also triggered. This would be the prefrontal cortex; memories are triggered here.

As for the stress relief, playing music alone will reduce stress and keep the mind sharp. During therapy sessions professionals often play music in hopes to simulate memory and calm their patient. The relationship with your emotions and music is considered unconscious. Your brain is simulated by music.

According to an article found here

Types of music that have the power to synchronize directly with your brainwaves. This brain wave (the alpha brainwave) is activated when we are calm and conscious.  Music can be used as a form of meditation. It is considered a mechanism to cope with stress.

Bottom line is my hypothesis regarding music being stress relieving seems to be proven true by factual information, and in this case the null hypothesis would be rejected.

2 thoughts on “Music as an antidepressant?

  1. Jason Schwartz

    This article was very interesting and extremely well written. It was interesting learning about the certain parts of the brain that are able to connect with music. Do you think that if a portion of the brain was damaged it could have direct effects on someones ability to process or even play music? Like for instance say a concussion, would it temporarily and permanently decrease your skills of playing an instrument? What if it had the adverse effect of making you extremely good at it? I found and article that might be able to explain a little more about that.

  2. Lucille Laubenstein

    I agree with you in that music seems to be a tried and true method for stress reduction. After reading your blog, I wondered if playing different instruments results in different amounts of stress relief. Is there one instrument that is more successful in calming people? I could not find any studies which focused on specific instruments, only the effect of playing music as a whole. It would be interesting to look into.

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