Hard-Wired for Music

“We are hard-wired in the brain to love music.”

– Dr. Daniel Levitin


Last week after I posted The Power of Music, I had so many people email me and make comments regarding how important music is to them, that I decided to look into it further. And what I discovered was fascinating. Both Sharon Begley and Dr. Daniel Levitin have found that the brain is hard-wired for music. In an article for Newsweek, Sharon Begley says:

“Scientists are finding that the human brain is pre-wired for music. Could this sublime expression of culture be as much about biology as art?  . . . The temporal lobes of the brain, just behind the ears, act as the music center. When neurosurgeons tickle these regions with a probe, patients have been known to hear tunes so vividly that they ask, Why is there a phonograph in the operating room?”

 

Most of us would agree that music powerfully affects our emotions. In a new study using brain imaging, researchers have identified how music can cause emotion-related brain activity. I know that I definitely use music to enhance whatever emotion I am feeling – sad, soulful ballads when I’m feeling, well, sad and soulful; or music to change a mood – if I’m feeling blah and flat, I can put on some upbeat and snappy music to lift my mood and energize me; and nothing beats a bit of Marvin Gaye to create just the right mood for a romantic evening for me!

For this post I’m attaching two videos, one each from Dr. Daniel Levitin and Sharon Begley. There were so many choices on YouTube that I was hard pressed to choose only two.  I get so excited learning this stuff about the brain and I love to share it!

Dr. Daniel Levitin – author of “This is Your Brain on Music.”

 

Sharon Begley – co-author with Dr. Richard Davidson “The Emotional Life of Your Brain”

 

Please let me know your thoughts on these two videos, and I’d love to hear any stories you have about the role of music in your life.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

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The Power of Music

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

– Aldous Huxley


My friend Tam sent me a beautiful video recently about the power of music.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I was thinking about it yesterday during a Creative Empowerment Workshop that Deb and I were running – I looked around watching the participants do their art, all listening to music.  Many were listening to the music that we supply, softly playing in the background; a few others had their own music playing on their ipods, but everywhere I looked people were immersed in some sort of music.  Near the end of the workshop, one participant said: “I really like the music you play during the workshop, I feel calm when I listen to it.”

Friedrich Nietzsche once said: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”  Too harsh perhaps?  But reading this article in one of my favorite blogs, Daily Good, I am moved to see Nietzsche point.  The article describes music “bridging life and death.”  It is an interview with the woman who founded  The Threshold Choir, Kate Munger.  In the article Munger describes the beginning of The Threshold Choir.

“In November of 1990 I was invited to spend a day with a friend of mine who was dying of HIV Aids. He was comatose, but very agitated.  I sat down by his bedside and didn’t know what to do. I waited and waited. All I knew to do, to calm myself, was to sing. So I sang one song and I sang it for two hours. I sang it over and over again. I watched his breathing slow, and he got much calmer. And I got much calmer, because it was a song that was really soothing to me personally. So as I got comfortable, he got comfortable and at the end of the experience I felt like I’d touched something very deep.”

Attached is the video that Tam emailed to me.  A lovely representation of the power of music.

Please let me know your thoughts on this video, and I’d love to hear any stories you have about the Power of Music in your life.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

Cooperation . . . we can make beautiful music together . . .

“We could make beautiful music together. “

– Gary Cooper


As I thought about my last blog post, Our Need For Connection, I started to wonder what is it that helps us connect, or fail to connect.  The first thing I thought of was communication. We need to communicate, to listen, to be present  with one another to find connection.  When we don’t communicate with respect, we fail to connect.

Someone once said: ” The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.  Communication and respect.

And then I thought of cooperation. We need to practice cooperation, working together with respect.

I think this music video by Walk Off The Earth is a brillian example of cooperation.  The song is pretty, the words are fine – but it is the cooperation between the artists in this video that, in my opinion, is absolutely stunning!  Watch how they work together.  It is Awesome!

 

I hope you enjoy this music video, and if you hadn’t heard of Walk Off The Earth before, watch them on YouTube, they are great.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.