“It’s been said that we don’t play music as much as music plays us. Listening to and playing music can change your mood, get you motivated, and help you concentrate. It can even increase intelligence and ward off the effects of brain aging!”
Perhaps my guest bloggers this week, Deane and Dr. Pat Alban reveal The Fountain of Youth! Are there musical solutions for Brain Fitness and Creativity?
“Recently, neuroscientists and musicians got together with the goal of creating the most relaxing piece of music based on science. The culmination of their work was the 8-minute instrumental piece Weightless.
By measuring brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and more, researchers determined that this just may be the most relaxing piece of music ever created. There was an impressive 65% decrease in anxiety symptoms among study participants.”
How It Works
“Weightless works by using specific rhythms, tones, frequencies and intervals to relax the listener. It starts with a rhythm of 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to 50, synchronizing the heart rate and brainwave state. This synchronization process is known as entrainment.
There is intentionally no repeating melody. This allows your brain to switch off since it’s not seeking out patterns or trying to predict what’s coming next. It also contains whooshes and hums that act similarly to chants to induce a trance-like state.
This music can make you feel so relaxed that it comes with a warning not to listen while driving! To get the most from this music, treat it like a meditation. Get quiet, close your eyes, and listen with a headset.
Don’t use it as background music while you work. You may find it makes you less relaxed and even irritable. That’s because you are trying to get your brain into two opposing brainwave states — one for work, one for relaxation — simultaneously.”
You can learn more about the powerful connection between music, mood, mental health and the brain in How Music Affects the Brain for the Better…find the original Weightless score plus 6 additional versions on Spotify. Look for the artist Marconi Union.
Find the Weightless video on YouTube.
How You Can Put This Science to Use
“As you’ve seen, entrainment induces a meditative state. And an audio technique known as binaural beats can be used to induce entrainment (very quickly). This makes audio recordings (music, environmental sounds) that incorporate binaural beats very effective for stress and anxiety reduction. In fact, the effect is just like that of meditation.”
Of course, meditation has other positive health effects too. Evidence-Based Health Benefits of MeditationIn these articles, we tell where you can get commercial recordings that use binaural beats — for the benefits of meditation in a fraction of the time and effort.”
Anecdotally, I know that music makes me a better beast. For many years I have used music to alter or improve my mood, to inspire creativity, to facilitate flow during art-making, to create a cocoon of focus when the world around me get noisy, and more. Now I know listening to or making music can even increase intelligence and ward off the effects of brain aging. Marvelous!
You can connect with Deane and Dr. Pat Alban at Be Brain Fit.
“Making or Listening– music makes me a better, Brain Fit beast!” Dr. Judy (music for writers, well, SOME writers!)
Could you repeat that? Suggested reading– “On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind” by psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis. She reveals how listening to music on repeat improves focus!