How music improves your memory

Subject: Psychology
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 6
Word count: 1514
Topics: Memory, Health, Human Nature, Metacognition, Music

The evolution of man has seen the transition of times, customs and cultures saw that every community had some kind of music. The emotional stability of a person would most of the time be determined by the kind of music that they would listen to. Music has been claimed to have an undisputed link to a person’s memory. Much research has not been conducted to prove the intertwining of music, emotions and memory. However, there exists justification that will work towards proving such a theory. In trying to understand the connection better, focus ought to be on the effect of music on ones psyche. It is notable that music would be used for purposes of enhancing a person’s psyche. In addition, patients, especially those recovering from memory lapse, would be taken through music therapy and this would help greatly in helping them gain back their memory (Palisson,, 2015). Some people are of the contention that music does not have any link to a person’s memory but this assertion is flawed since music poses many benefits to a person’s life and one of them is regarding to memory enhancement as this discussion will try to demonstrate.

There has however, been some contention that music does not necessarily boost or enhance a person’s memory. They argue that music does not necessarily have any effect when it comes to the memory of a person. This is because although music can enable a person become more alert or enhance their cognitive processes, it does not expressly, determine their memory levels. However, this contention is flawed since music has been demonstrated to have a significant influence on a person’s memory capabilities.

Music can be used to enhance a particular person’s memory and elevate their information retention. When an event happens and during the event familiar tunes of songs are played, one will always remember the event by the connection that the music comes with. For those who are parents or rather are close to children can attest to the fact that at times, you will hear adolescents say that a certain song is stuck in their thoughts. This confirms how music gets installed in ones memory. This would be used in restoring the memories of patients back up to the point that they can get back to their feet. Education-wise, it is therefore, important to use music for knowledge and information retention and general learning. The connection of music and memory is well coined in the dynamic attending theory (Ferreri, & Verga, 2016). This theory proceeds on the assertion that patterns of rhythm in music positively help in the ability of the brain to synchronize processes of attention through the auditory rhythm. From the theory, we find the suggestion that music needs to be used in the training of processes that require improvement of attention.

Away from the effects of music on someone’s memory, music helps in the growth, development and the general improvement on the intelligent quotient. This has been proved on research since the early times of the 20th century. Winter (2016) noted that music could improve memory, the IQ and language skills of an individual. Language skills in this case include spatial memory, literacy, verbal memory and verbal intelligence. In understanding how music influences a person’s brain, it is recommended that the neurodevelopment of a person be looked into so as to investigate the impacts that the brain receives as pertains to certain activities for example music and music trains. Neuro-physiological technique is recommended so that a track can be kept of the responses from sub-cortical and cortical (winter, 2016). By use of the Neuro-physiological technique, adolescents’ brain is described as a brain that has not undergone full development, thereby making adolescents the best specimen to test the notion that music improves memory. Adam Tierney of Northwestern University conducted a research on adolescents and found that there was a phenomenon improvement in the development of their brain after undergoing a musical training. The development was described as phenomenon from the fact that a comparison was made of adolescents that did not take part in the research verses those that participated. It was found that those that did not take part in the research had a much lower development rate. In one study authored by Glenn Schellenberg, in the University of Toronto, he was able to find an IQ increment regarding to six year olds who had been put under some voice as well a piano classes. The experiment was such that Schellenberg made sure that he provided some nine months of both piano as well as voice coaching to 12 children whose ages fell in the bracket of six years (winter, 2016). As such, the children received 9-month training and there after their IQs were shown to have improved after some testing done unto them. The IQ regarding to children who were given some music coaching was demonstrated to be 3 points higher when compared to others who were in either voice or drama classes (winter, 2016). In fact, those in the drama lessons showed a lesser increase in their IQs but most importantly, they had increased social skills compared to those in the music lessons.

According to Palisson, (2015), medically, music has been found to have an effect on a patient’s brain. Dementia and Alzheimer patients have been used as a target in most of such studies. A common finding was that music would enhance their memories.  The contention is that music is linked to the way a brain functions. Of essence, classical music has been shown to enhance the concentration levels that most age groups depict. Music that has strong beats as well resonates with brain waves. This is to imply that the faster a certain beat is, the sharper a person’s concentration is shown to be and their thinking as well shows increased alertness. The brain has not been designed in such a manner that it can be able to spend many prolonged hours pondering on one specific thing. As such, the brain comprises of two systems that is the conscious and unconscious parts. The conscious segment enables a person to lay focus on the things that they want to pay attention upon while the unconscious part is vital in shifting the attention of a person to anything that their senses are able to pick up, which can be categorized as significant (Palisson, 2015). Thus, the unconscious segment thus is linked to a person’s emotional processing and not the higher reasoning. In essence, it also responds and operates fast. While the conscious part continues to lay focus on a task, the unconscious part does not at an point shut down but it stays alert and continues to control matters regarding to our senses.

Music has been shown to enhance the language development of a child. Children land into this world in readiness to decode sounds as well as words and thus music is one of the things that enhance a child’s capability in those areas(Ferreri, & Verga, 2016). Moreover, it is essential to note that the ability of such a child to be able to decode such sounds as well as words can thus be reinforced through music. The effect that music has on the language development is thus depicted in the brain. Musical training given to children is vital in brain’s development and especially the left side that is tasked with language processing.

In yet another study authored by Christopher Johnson, he was of the idea that music enhanced a person’s score in their tests. It was revealed that those students who took classes in Music were at a better chance of having better scores in English by 22% or a 20% improved scores in their maths tests as compared to those students who did not have such music programs in their curriculum (Ferreri, & Verga, 2016). Besides, Hohnson also took to demonstrate the merits accrued to music education when it comes to a child’s success. He emphasized that music is thus tied to improved memory recall. In addition, music training has been shown to contribute highly to a person’s concentration levels as well as capability to recall. In fact, music has been tied to many cognitive strengths including proficiency in verbal recall. In fact, those who have had proper or quality training in the arena of music stand a better chance of remembering of the verbal information that is stored in their memory.

In conclusion, as is depicted in this research, it is clear that the merits that music has when it comes to a person’s memory are undisputed. In fact, music enables a person be able to recall particular information at their disposal. In addition, a person who is able to recall information in return displays heightened IQ levels and as such is able to score highly even when it comes to tests. Moreover, if you have a better memory, you will also be at a better position to get healing in the case that one is suffering from either dementia or any ailments connected to memory.

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  1. Ferreri, L., & Verga, L. (2016). Benefits Of Music On Verbal Learning And Memory: How And When Does It Work?. Music Perception, 34(2), 167-182. doi:10.1525/mp.2016.34.2.167
  2. Palisson, J., Roussel-Baclet, C., Maillet, D., Belin, C., Ankri, J., & Narme, P. (2015). Music enhances verbal episodic memory in Alzheimer’s disease. Journal Of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology,37(5),503-517.             doi:10.1080/13803395.2015.1026802
  3. Winter, H. N. (2016). The Link Between Music Lesson And Iq In Children. American Music Teacher, 66(2), 14-18.
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