When you’re deeply sensitive, love is ecstasy. Music is godlike. Heartache is a wide, somatic wound. Visual natural beauty is jewel-drenched bliss. Tension and conflict are muscle tightening and toxic, straight down to the cells. So how do you hold it all? You rinse, recenter, and remain clear. You recycle your sensitivity by propelling yourself and others to create waves of change in a sup er-starving world. Harness what is best, and breathe out the excess.”
— Victoria Erickson
A world without music is as good as a soul devoid of emotions. Here are 5 ways how music increases empathy in listeners.
Recent research has provided evidence that musical interaction can promote empathy. Yet little is known about the underlying interpersonal and social psychological processes that are involved when this occurs.
Music has been with us since the dawn of human civilization. Many consider it a cosmic blessing, while to others, it is their best friend. To composers, it is an art. Whatever it is, music always brings out the best in us. It helps us to express ourselves to the fullest.
But did you know, there’s a direct relation between music and empathy?
In the video below, Musician Diane Miller discusses part of what’s required of us to be captivated by music, especially tunes that represent a culture or community different from our own. Furthermore, how that captivation can lead to empathy, understanding and positive fulfillment.
Yes, music can make a person more empathic. The more we listen to music, the more we are able to cultivate and nourish empathy.
Here are 5 ways how music increases empathy in listeners
1. It Releases Emotional Tension
Throughout the day we accumulate a lot of stress, especially if you’re working. Our nerves tend to stiffen, resulting in chronic fatigue and depression. But what happens when you return home after a tiring day? You put on your earphones and dive into your playlist. The music you play helps to relax your mind. It takes away all the stress. But at the same time, it replaces resentment and frustration with empathy and compassion. Suddenly you start feeling good and radiate positive vibes. These vibes in turn nourishes the empathy that becomes suppressed under everyday hassles.
2. It Rejuvenates The Spirit
We don’t end up liking every music we listen to. But the ones we do, tend to hold a lifelong place in our soul. And it is this very music that lifts any emotional burden that weighs down on us. Whether it is sadness, anxiety, depression or anger, music helps us to recover and re-energize our spirit. Even the most tired soul gets back the zeal they’ve once lost. And it is through this rejuvenation do the gates of empathy open. The positive vibe released from the compositions makes us feel good, thus instilling the urge to be more compassionate to others. The negatives only outweigh the positives when we stop listening to our favorite tracks, thus gradually receding from the positiveness.
3. The Lyrics Give Us Purpose
Every human being is born with a purpose. Some discover theirs, others remain ignorant of it. But music is a tool that has the ability to plant the seed to this discovery. It depends whether we are watering it properly or not. Especially when it comes to lyrics, we find a place where we can relate our deepest subconscious thoughts. It happens quite often that we are going through the lyrics, when all of a sudden, they click like a flash of light, rendering a whole new meaning to our life. Before reading the lyrics you never knew that there’s a purpose , a calling hidden deep within you. But when the words hit you, the emotions tend to resurface. So how does it make us more empathic. Well, finding a purpose in life gives us a sense of belonging. We realize who we are, and what we want. When we find a place in ourselves, we find a place in others as well. This lays the foundation of a more empathic approach towards life.
4. The Magic In Certain Scales
Different composers have their own unique ways of constructing musical pieces. Not all use the same scale or chord progressions. The metronome, the pitch, the octaves function in harmony to give rise to different genres of music. There are some scales however, that delivers a direct hit to our subconscious. It often happens, that you’re listening to a certain song, when all of a sudden, the player improvises on a particular scale or chord progression that makes you tremendously joyous. The feeling cannot be put in words. It is more of a transcendental emotion that we experience when that particular progression of notes is played. We keep hitting the replay button to get the feeling again and again. Believe it or not, no negative emotion is powerful enough to cloud the empathic vibrations that emanate from these scales. This calms our material agitations and directs our minds towards universal compassion and brotherhood.
With an array of multinational companies emerging and claiming to train the human brain, it makes us ponder upon if that’s really what’s happening? Or is it just another baseless claim to mint money.
Well, we don’t know about that, but we do know that playing a musical instrument can be your savior.
Music is a gift from god. It is nothing short of magic. More so, if you learn to play an instrument that fascinates you the most and suits your style.
How exactly is playing an instrument a boost for your brain?
Playing a musical instrument requires you to memorize strongly, hence, it improves your memory. Also, it is a well-researched fact that being trained in music brings about a change in the structure of the brain.
Do you react slower than normal? Is your sensory reaction in need of some boost? Music training or learning how to play a new musical instrument is said to boost your long term memory and enhance your sensory process, according to studies.
Furthermore, we connect to music with emotions and therefore, our brain perceives it uniquely. The different sensory inputs are integrated to form a sense of understanding in a way better than in the ones without a musical background. Your sense of touch, vision, movement, and hearing is highlighted which in turn can be very beneficial for you in your career and life in general.
Benefits of learning a musical instrument to your brain
1. Speech sound
Playing a musical instrument is said to improve the processing of speech sound. Did you know it is extremely helpful to kids with dyslexia? It boosts their learning and speech processing. If that wasn’t enough, learning a musical instrument as a kid also protects the brain from the threats of dementia in the future.
2. Bonding time
It gets cumbersome to work in a team at times. Why? Because the need for coordination and cooperation surpasses the basic needs. Musicians, due to the training, are wired in a way that they work efficiently in a band or a duo as well with a heightened sense of coordination and cooperation.
3. Memory boosting & Stress Buster
Music training has been successful in improving the retaining power of memory. Also, if you didn’t know music in the brain is perceived in the same way as reading. Hence, music training is said to improve reading skills as well.
If you’re someone who is constantly under stress, then try playing a musical instrument like Yamaha P115 Digital Piano it can be really soothing and relaxing to you.
4. Empowering brain’s executive function
Learning a musical instrument has surprisingly unique benefits to the brain. Executive functions like behavioral control, memory retaining, and decision making are strengthened by the aforementioned. No matter if you’re an adult or a kid, you can reap the benefits of the same.
5. Let the blood rush
The art of playing a musical instrument has time and again proved super beneficial for the human brain and body. Going through mental and physical fatigue? Well, playing a musical instrument increases the blood flow in the brain. Hence, imparting more oxygen to its parts. According to the research, music training or even short term exposure to music increases the blood flow to the left part of the brain that deals with cognitive and linguistic functions.
6. Recovery from brain injury
Well, this is a breakthrough, isn’t it? According to reports, music training is capable of helping patients in recovering from brain injuries. A study involving 20 stroke patients without any musical background resulted in groundbreaking results. These patients were put through musical training for a few weeks. They showed significant improvement in their movements, precision, and speed.
7. Multitasker for the win
A musician is well capable of integrating all the sensory processes. Be it touch, sight, vision, movement, it is required of them to act on them all at once. Hence, this ordeal makes them good multitaskers. No matter where they are, musicians can do their job efficiently. This quality comes in handy at the workplace and in the career in general. It is all about multitasking these days.
8. Babies benefit too
According to the studies, even before they can talk or walk, if babies are exposed to music interaction, they are prone to becoming good communicators. A happy baby is what you’ll have if your kid learns to play a musical instrument from a very young age. And who doesn’t want a happy baby!
Well, learning to play a musical instrument is good for the human brain and body in so many ways! How about enrolling for some music training sessions now? After all, it is never too late.
Experiencing goosebumps when listening to music is a rare condition that’s the result of a different brain structure. People who get goosebumps from music have more fibers connecting their auditory cortex to the areas responsible for emotional processing.