“Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. ”(Locker ) This statement by Melissa Locker is continuously backed up by multiple reliable sources from various scientific journals throughout the internet. Even though violent music can cause people to have violent tendencies, music is very beneficial to your brain because music helps your brain to maintain its plasticity and music helps our brains to be able to better interpret specific sounds when you are older.
A number of new studies have, for the most part, identified a strong applicable correlation between violent music and violent behaviours. Such as in Craig A. Anderson’s research journal “Exposure to Violent Media: The Effects of Songs With Violent Lyrics on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings”, Anderson has found throughout five various experiments that tested the effects of violent music and your behaviour, that there is in fact a correlation between listening to violent music and having violent thoughts and/or behaviours (Anderson).
These results were confirmed yet again at Western Connecticut State University in Eliana Tropeano’s research paper “Does Rap or Rock Music Provoke Violent Behavior? ” Tropeano research leads her to the result, through a number of experiments in which three groups took part in, “that watching the violent music video containing violent lyrics, aggressive behavior, and degrading behaviors toward women did make an individual feel and react more violently with regards to responses to questions about fictitious scenarios” (Tropeano 31).
The experiment consisted of three groups that had eleven people in each sample. The first was the control group that did not watch any music videos. The second of the groups watched a music video with violent lyrics while the third watched a neutral music video that did not contain any violent lyrics. After the experiment, Tropeano had the participants take a twelve question quiz.
The results of the quiz demonstrated that those who watched the violent music video had responded with a greater number of violent answers in comparison to those who did not watch any or the nonviolent music videos. Even though violent music causes you to exhibit more violent behaviours, music is very beneficial to your brain because children who play a musical instrument when they are younger will be able to better differentiate between sounds when they are older.
As stated by Nadine Gaab in George Hicks article “How Playing Music Affects The Developing Brain” Nadine says, “that if you play a musical instrument, especially if you start early in life, that you have better reading skills, better math skills, et cetera” (Hicks ) . Nadine is stating that through her research she has found a positive correlation between playing an instrument when you are a young adolescent when compared to your intelligence level of when you are a mature adult. More research by Sibylle C.
Herholz and Robert J. Zatorre at the Montreal Neurological Institute in Montreal Canada supports these claims by stating in their article “Musical Training as a Framework for Brain Plasticity: Behavior, Function, and Structure” published by Sciencedirect that, “Functionally, earlier age of training commencement is also associated with greater representation of the fingers of the left hand of string players (Elbert et al. , 1995) and in greater cortical (Pantev et al. , 1998) and brainstem responses to tones. ” (Herholz 495).
Herholz and Zatorre are stating here that through their research that they have found that when you learn to play in instrument when you are a young adolescent that your brain will be able to better understand and process certain sounds when compared to those who did not learn to play an instrument. Continuous Research from sources such as “Musical Training Orchestrates Coordinated Neuroplasticity in Auditory Brainstem and Cortex to Counteract Age-Related Declines in Categorical Vowel Perception” by Gavin M. Bidelman and Claude Alain approximately resembles Herholz, Zatorre, and as well as Nadine Gaab’s research in such a way as it found that “Musicianship in early life is associated with pervasive changes in brain function and enhanced speech-language skills. ”(Bidelman 1241)
This direct quote for their article is stating that there is in fact a relationship between when you learn to play a musical instrument at a younger age and your brain’s ability to comprehend more specific sounds when you mature. The most important reason why music is beneficial to your brain is because music helps your brain to maintain its plasticity.
The definition of plasticity used is from Sibylle C. Herholz and Robert J. Zatorre and it stated that plasticity is used to “describe changes in structure and function of the brain that affect behavior and that are related to experience or training”(Herholz). Now knowing what plasticity means we can get started. The article “Plasticity of the human auditory cortex related to musical training” by Christo Panteva and Sibylle C. Herholz has been used to confirm that there is in fact a correlation between the plasticity of your brain and musical training.
Throughout their article they continually find claims where musical training helps or has helped musicians and nonmusicians. They have found that “Complementary evidence of timbre-specific enhancements of cortical activity with different methods was also more recently reported in professional flute and piano players (Margulis et al. , 2009), as well as in violin and piano players (Shahin et al. , 2008). Using fMRI, Margulis et al. (2009)found activity in an extensive network of cortical areas that relate to processing of musical syntax (BA 44), timbre (auditory association cortex), and sound–motor interactions (precentral gyrus).
Shahin et al. (2008) reported increases of induced oscillatory gamma band activity specifically in response to tones of the trained instrument in violinists and pianists that are interpreted to reflect highly learned perceptual template matching. ” This is more simply explained by stating that, “Taken together, these findings show that highly skilled musicians exhibit enhanced auditory cortical representations for musical timbres associated with their principal instrument, compared to timbres associated with instruments on which they have not been trained. Pantev 2143). Further in the article they describe an experiment as, “Ten subjects who were initially only able to perceive the spectral pitch melody were investigated in this experiment.
They were intensively trained over the course of several days until they gained the ability to perceive the virtual pitch melody, and we were able to investigate the involvement of plastic re-organizational processes in virtual pitch formation and perception in the auditory cortex. Pantev 2147) The results of that experiment were recorded as follows, “In all 10 subjects, the training resulted in a sudden switch from the spectral to the virtual mode of pitch perception. The clear change in perception was accompanied by a distinct increase of the transient gamma band response that has been found to be associated with integrative cognitive functions” this describes a change in brain functionality which would also be considered a change in neural plasticity.
Further explained in the same experiment, “independent component analysis indicated higher synchronization of the cortical networks involved in the generation of the evoked gamma band activity after achieving the ability to perceive the virtual melody. ” (Pantev 2147) This direct statement from their article states that there is a change in neural plasticity after learning to perceive the virtual melody. “In summary, the question of learning-induced plasticity in the perception of the virtual pitch of complex tones was directly addressed in this study.
The enhancement of the auditory evoked responses can be interpreted either by higher synchronization, or by enlargement of the involved cortical networks, or most likely by both. As the latency of the transient gamma band response is about 30–70 ms after stimulus onset this plastic reorganization of auditory neural networks is likely to take place at the level of the primary auditory cortex. ”(Pantev 2147-2148). To summarize this, there is infact a correlation between the plasticity of your brain and learning to play a musical instrument.
So it is clear that although listening to violent music causes you to exhibit more violent behaviours furthermore, music is very beneficial to your brain for two main reasons. Firstly, children who play a musical instrument when they are younger will be able to better differentiate between sounds when they are older . But most importantly, it has been proven through multiple sources that music does in fact increase your brain’s “neural plasticity” according to Sibylle C. Herholz and Robert J. Zatorre.