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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: First Place (Daniel Anthony, Opinion Category); Fifth Place (Brendan Jubulis, Sports)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)
Student Keystone Press Awards Honorable Mention (Website)

Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Can listening to music make you smarter?


The study of music is something which has been rather controversial for a long time. Some people prefer some genres while others like different genres. Debates in the scientific community have been going back and forth for a while now about whether different types of music have different effects on the human body.
Surprisingly, the banter back and forth about which “type” of music isn’t the question people should be asking. Focusing more on the whole of things, it’s been proven uniformly that music has a positive effect in many regards. One of the bigger concepts that music can help with is pain management. Music can help reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain.
The latest 2014 study on anti-seizure effects were surprisingly revealing, going as far as proving that Mozart’s sonata has an antiepileptic effect on children patients who suffer seizures on a normal basis. Healing appears to be one of the larger points in which music can help someone. There are a few theories in regarding why exactly this is.

  1. Music causes the body to release endorphins to counteract pain
  2. Music produces a revulsive effect
  3. Slow music relaxes by slowing breathing and heartbeat
  4. Music may give a patient a sense of control.

Music has also shown that it has some effects on the brain. The idea that music makes people “smarter” received a lot of attention from the scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make a person learn better. Research surprisingly confirms this. Music has the power to enhance a few kinds of higher brain function, such as reading and literacy skills, spatial-temporal reasoning, mathematical abilities, and emotional intelligence.
The theory on why this is mostly goes back to memory performance. The ability to better remember things indirectly affects other parts of the mind. For example, one of the experiments done in the scientific community goes back to Mozart’s music. With a 60 beats per minute beat pattern, the music was shown to activate the left and right brain. The simultaneous left and right brain action maximizes learning and retention of information. The information being learned activates the left side, while the music activates the right.
All in all, music tends to help people be more productive. This is accomplished as a whole, ranging from classical to electronic music. While each specific type might have their own little perks due to the beats per minute in which each operates, none of them have proven to be bad for the human body or mind.

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