“Music soothes the savage breast” or even an irate boss, unless, of course, you are humming at your desk. Music is everywhere: on buses, in shops, on the street, constantly to lure us away from the destructive trappings of stress and raw nerves. Of the benefits of music, the most obvious is that it is enjoyable, whether it is soothing and mentally stimulating classical music, rhythmic popular music, everyone has a certain song that makes them feel good or better.
The benefits of music transcend mere enjoyment. In a well-known study a few years ago, high school students listened to Mozart before an exam and received higher marks that their non-listening counterparts. A musical education stimulates the motor and intellectual faculties of a child’s brain, and encourages the development of academic skills, especially in the area of math. Even if the child no longer plays music as an adult, the benefits of music last a lifetime; musicians who learn to play at an early age have a more developed interplay between the left and the right brain.
One of the most popular benefits of music is that it diverts the mind and can soothe a person who has chronic pain. According to a legend, there was a well-respected Rabbi in Eastern Europe who was not allowed to take anesthetic, even though he was to have major surgery. He composed a special song that he sang while he was awake during the surgery, and this song helped him to deal with the pain. One of the benefits of music is it’s ability to distract the mind from its suffering.
Pregnant women can pass along the benefits of music to their fetuses. Babies pay attention to sounds in vitro, such as the mother’s voice. They can enjoy the benefits of music from their first months before birth since, believe it or not, they can really hear in that amniotic fluid.