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Scientific proof that music is good for you

Editorial Staff

Written by Michael Morreale

In study after study, scientists are proving what music fans have long known: music is one of the best medicines.

In the photo gallery above, you'll find a collection of studies from around the world that demonstrate the weird and wonderful effect of music on the mind and body.

Even after all these discoveries by leading researchers, scientists still are nowhere close to fully understanding the complete effect music has on us. From its ability to make you focus to its ability to lower your stress levels to its effects on children with developing cognitive abilities, music seems to have limitless benefits. So take two songs and call us in the morning.

The finding: Music is good for your heart.

Summary: Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center have proven that music aids your cardiovascular system. The study found that listening to music you enjoy will cause the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate by an average of 26 per cent, to increase blood flow.

(Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

The finding: Need help focusing? Listen to Mozart.

Summary: A 2013 study reports that listening to pleasant music, like Mozart, while completing a mental task helps children and seniors process information efficiently and avoid distraction.

(Source: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)

The finding: Music during your workout exercises your brain, too.

Summary: In a study published in the journalHeart & Lung, participants had two separate, 30-minute exercise sessions on a treadmill. During one session, they listened to Vivaldi and during the other, they listened to nothing. Before and after each session, they completed a verbal fluency test. Test scores improved more than twice as much after listening to music compared to not listening to music.

(Source: Science Daily)

The finding: Listening to Vivaldi’s "Spring" fromThe Four Seasons makes you more alert.

Summary: Participants in a study at Northumbria University in the U.K. completed a set of brain-busting tasks, some with no background sound and some while listening to music from Vivaldi’sFour Seasons. Listening to the first movement of Vivaldi’s "Spring" resulted in faster reaction times and higher accuracy than listening to the three other sections, or complete silence. You’re welcome.

(Source: PsyCONTENT)

The finding: Music reduces anxiety in cancer patients.

Summary: According to a team of researchers led by Joke Bradt of Drexel University in Philadelphia, working with a music therapist can help cancer patients improve mood, pain and quality of life.

(Source: Wiley-Blackwell)

The finding: Childhood music lessons help people hear better later in life.

Summary: A 2013 study published in TheJournal of Neuroscience suggests that childhood music lessons pay off, big time. The study found that adults who had music education as kids had much better sound-processing skills than those who did not — even if their musical training stopped when they were kids — and that the more training they had, the faster their brains responded.

(Source: The Journal of Neuroscience)

The finding: Music lowers your stress levels.

Summary: There’s a doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg that proves what many of us already know: listening to music brings about positive emotions and is one of the simplest ways to enhance mental health and well-being.

(Source: University of Gothenburg)

The finding: Children who study music excel in verbal memory tests.

Summary: In a study carried out by three researchers from German universities, primary school students were placed in either extra music lessons, extra natural science lessons or no extra lessons. Eighteen months later, students were given verbal memory tests, and "children in the music group showed greater improvements than children in the control groups."

(Source: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)

The finding: Music can improve stroke rehabilitation.

Summary: Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia have good news for the more than 20 million stroke patients each year: a technique called "rhythmic auditory stimulation" has proven effective at using rhythm to stimulate movement in stroke patients.

(Source: Science Daily)