Music is a powerful thing. It can pull out any range of your emotions when you listen to it, and it can even fuel your motivation and inspiration. How is that so? This week, I’ve taken the time to do some research and give you some interesting brief insights into how your brain is affected by music, how different genres can affect your mood and how you can use music to motivate and inspire you.
Your Brain’s Reaction to Music
Thanks to Pennsylvania State University, I can tell you! Your brain has 4 major parts of the lobe that react to music. It’s no walk in the park for your brain to decode though. “There is not a set path that music travels in the brain, because in many songs, so many factors are changing all the time, so it is more like a tennis match.”
So, let’s break this down into a little timeline of events! Your auditory cortex and cerebellum are the first parts of your brain to react when your ears introduce music, which interprets both the volume and pitches. Your cerebellum then takes this information and sends it to the third part, the amygdala, which is the control center for your emotions. When this happens, a dopamine rush occurs, giving you that “good” feeling you get when you hear that amazing part in a song you love. Once you get that “good” feeling, the last part of your brain called the caudate (a subregion of the striatum) reacts by generating an emotional response.
Different Genres Do Different Things
Now that you’re educated on how your brain interprets and reacts to music, let’s learn how different types of music can affect different ranges of emotions. Thanks to “8 Surprising Ways Music Affects and Benefits our Brains” from Buffer, they have provided some great insight into how each genre affects us below:
- “Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease”
- “Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease”
- “Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease”
- “Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing”
- “Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle”
- “Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing”
- “Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease”
- “Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle”
- “Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle”
- “Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing”
- “Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease”
- “Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease”
- “Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease”
Okay, you might agree that your favorite genre doesn’t exactly fit your personality because my favorite genre is rock/heavy metal and though I am creative, gentle and at ease, I completely disagree with the other 3 traits. I’m also an extremely hard worker with great self-esteem and an ambitiously outgoing personality. And that’s okay because the article also mentioned that it’s very difficult to generalize based on that study. The good thing is that even though it’s not 100% accurate, the bigger picture is the fact that different genres actually do bring out different emotions.
How to Use Music to Motive & Inspire You
With all of the factors that make up music and the affect it has on you, there’s one main thing to understand… and it might even sound like common sense to you.
“Listen to music that you like if you want to tap into your creativity.”
That’s right, with all of the research and the debunked “Mozart Effect,” the best way to bring out some inspiration for your day is to simply listen to the music you love. Music is a wonderful thing, and it’s also more powerful than you think. You can harness the power of inspiration and motivation by simply listening to your favorite songs. Now that’s homework anyone can do. See what you’re made of and add more music to your life.
Kyle is the Lead Graphic Designer at Red Branch Media.
Kyle leads our Graphic Design Department at Red Branch Media. His ability to manage incoming tasks, collaborate with the design team, hit deadlines and keep our file storage system well-organized has helped to shape the design department clients love today. While he’s away from the branch, he spends his time playing drums, video games, cranking the latest emo, pop-punk and screamo songs on Spotify, drinking local Omaha brews, and enjoying life with his wife. Kyle has a BASA with a Concentration in Graphic Design and a Minor in Art History from UNO.
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