So you’ve heard about everything that went down in the music department – you saw the students protesting, heard responses from the faculty and administration and read the news coverage. Unless you’re a music major, you’ve probably been left wondering how this pertains to all of you and why it matters in the grand scheme of things. Well, get excited, because I have great news. The health benefits are numerous and far-reaching, affecting aspects such as mental and cardiovascular health. Harvard Health cites nine different areas in which music can improve your well-being.
The area in which you, a college student, might see the most change after listening to or making music is your brain and other neural functions. Referred to as the “Mozart effect,” it has been found that many musicians have unexpected skills in mathematics. Upon researching the effect, it seems as though musicians’ talent in math was related to their developing musical proficiency, not necessarily to their natural gifts – promising news for those of us who didn’t exit the womb with perfect operatic vibrato.
Furthermore, music has been proven, time and time again, to reduce the stress levels of listeners. Those who listen to instrumental music especially have been shown to score better on tests of both mathematics and comprehension, as opposed to their counterparts who took the tests in silence. So what does this mean for you? Well, Swedish scientists would likely to encourage you to start attending more concerts. While individual listening improves one’s quality of life by reducing stress and increasing mental capacity, the physical act of attending concerts makes it more likely that you’ll live longer.
In a study observing the concert-going habits of 12,982 people, participants who rarely attended concerts were 1.57 times more likely to die over the course of the study than those who regularly attended concerts. If this encourages you to dedicate a night out to concert-going, check out the Hope Music Department webpage to find a list of upcoming events (most of which are free for students). If you’re the type that would rather play the music than listen to it, there are numerous opportunities for that too, from casual venues like SAC-sponsored Coffeehouse to formal ensembles such as Chapel Choir. Music is so good for you!
Now you have an excuse to set up a speaker and pump tunes through the thin, thin walls of your dorm room whilst you scream the lyrics to “Karma Chameleon.” No? Just me? Well, either way, listening to loud music isn’t the best idea, since your ears are really sensitive and noise complaints also aren’t cool. Instead, I’d recommend that you invest in a nice pair of noise-cancelling headphones and refrain from bursting your eardrums. Happy listening!