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March 9, 2020
Music, Memory, and Mood: Something To Dance About
Many of us enjoy listening to our favorite artists because it brings us joy. Listening to music is not just something we do on our own, but rather, a group activity and something that can even create fond memories. But what if we told you music can actually boost your memory and your mood, helping to retrieve moments we thought we had lost.
Check out these notes on music and memory.
Repetition and the Mozart Effect – Music and Memory
When it comes to boosting your memory, repetition is key. Through repetition, the brain begins the process of encoding which creates electrical impulses of the information. Those impulses also release a chemical signal to communicate to the brain cells–this is known as synapses. The more repetition, the more synapses occur and the stronger your memory becomes.
This was of particular interest in the 1990s when the Mozart effect took form. Music lovers and scientists alike began to study the impact of listening to classical music while completing tasks. A 1993 study found that after listening to just 10 minutes of Mozart’s sonata (K448) subjects showed significantly better spatial reasoning skills than after periods of listening to relaxation instructions designed to lower blood pressure or silence. The average increase in IQ points even rose 8 to 9 points.
After this study, and those like it, some believed that classical music was the key to memory, the reality is that almost any genre can help boost your memory and retention.
Music and Dementia
In a 2015 Harvard Health Publishing article, Dr. Anne Fabiny looks at the science behind the 2014 documentary, Alive Inside. The documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, who brought music to dementia patients in nursing homes.
Cohen asked the family members of the patients to create lists of music that their loved ones enjoyed. He then makes a playlist and has the patient listen to it. The results were incredible: people who could not speak, were singing; those who could not recount memories, began to tell stories of listening to a specific song.
This is not the first time music has been proven to help those with cognitive conditions. Researchers at the music and neuroimaging laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggest that singing lyrics can be helpful to those recovering from a stroke or brain injury that has damaged the left-brain region responsible for speech.
Need a Playlist to Boost Your Memory and Your Mood?
You know we love music of all genres, and if listening to more of it can help boost our cognitive abilities, count us in! To help you keep your memories, we’ve come up with a list of songs to keep you dancing and remembering!
- Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
- Bassoon Concerto by Mozart
- Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart
- Four Seasons by Vivaldi
- Soldier of Fortune by Deep Purple
Ready to boost your memory and your mood with live music?
JOIN US FOR LIVE MUSIC, DRINKS, AND GREAT FOOD!
River Street Jazz Cafe has musical acts that will help you create new memories while recalling old ones, too.
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