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Quick Dose: What Happens to Your Brain on Music?

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Quick Dose: What Happens to Your Brain on Music

Whether your jam is Bach or Beyoncé, music has a profound effect on your brain. One study shows that different kinds of music have similar impacts on the brain. In fact, choosing your favorite genre (not just classical) can boost creativity and enhance your brain’s performance.

Music is one of the most neurologically complex things we can do. While speech uses roughly 10 parts of your brain, music can engage up to 20 to 30. Although different hemispheres are responsible for different tasks, their engagement with music is complex. Music engages the right side of your brain. Since this area is also responsible for emotions, there’s a close link between music and the emotional response it elicits. The left side of the brain, which controls language, then analyzes what we have heard.

Given the ability music has to engage and stimulate our brains, it has been found beneficial in a number of therapies. It may benefit premature infants, children with autism, children recovering from post-op pain and individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The type of music used for therapy depends on the situation.

So the next time your brain needs a boost, try turning on your favorite playlist.

- Jen Conley, MT-BC, LPC, Music Therapist

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