Music is probably the only real magic I have encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure and it's real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things. -Tom Petty
Have you ever found yourself unknowingly tapping your feet to a song running somewhere
around in the background? Have you tried matching the speed of your steps to the music being played? We see people marching in groups, perfectly in sync with the beats being played. In a concert, the crowd head-bangs in perfect co-ordination even without practicing or rehearsing before. That’s the power of music. It brings people together even without having to start a conversation. Music makes our heart beat in sync with the rhythm of the songs we listen to.
Our mood is directly affected by the type of songs we listen to. On a rainy day, with a hot cup of coffee by the window side, some slow Blues or Jazz would be perfect to calm us down while stuck in the traffic, some loud rock music or metal music would do wonders in reducing the anxiety and irritation caused. The genre we want to listen is based on our personal preferences but the right music helps us calm down and feel better instantly.
Speaking in scientific terms, when we listen to music, our brain releases the “feel good” neurotransmitter called “Dopamine” which instantly makes us feel happy, makes us feel positive and lifts our mood. Doctors have been using this power of music in various ways and have found how it immensely benefits in bringing down the pain during critical surgeries as it helps in bringing down the “cortisol level”-which is a stress hormone. Music tends to fasten the process of healing both- cognitively and physically.
All of us have a singer within us, some confined to our rooms while some stage artists. One thing all of us feel when we sing is- positivity, happiness, joy, be it in-pitch or completely off- pitch, that doesn’t matter here. Singing causes the release of the hormones called- “Endorphins” which causes euphoria and uplifts the mood. Learning to play any instrument improves the muscle memory, increases focus and improves the cognitive ability to perceive and express emotions.
We tend to associate songs with events and memories and a neural pathway is created in our brain. When we listen to the same song, after a long time, the brain brings back the memories and incidents associated with the song from the past and this power of music is used by therapists and counsellors to help the older adults recollect memories from the past even when their other cognitive abilities deteriorate with time.
It stays with us even when no one else is around. It talks to us even when we want to shut ourselves down.
It is a part of us, the happiest part that makes us feel alive, each day, talking to us in ways no one else does.
And, now we know what we need when we have had a rough day. Just that hit of dopamine by putting on our “Feel good” songs loud enough. It can be the classic Eric Clapton or John Mayer, it can be Mohammed Rafi or Arijit Singh, it can be Coldplay or Metallica.
Just put it on. Turn the volume up. Feel it, all at once. Close your eyes and relax.
It shall all feel this good, some day.
Watch this video and imagine yourself there, after years, still feeling the same joy and happiness playing the keys when nothing else matters.