Many students use music as a way to aid in coping with stress, and new research shows that music is also capable of boosting the listener’s mood, improving focus and even increasing endurance during exercise.
According to a study conducted at Brunel University in London, listening to music during exercise can help increase endurance by as much as 15 per cent.
It can also improve energy efficiency by a maximum of three per cent, helping to lower the perception of effort.
Mark Davidson, a chemical engineer from Calgary, firmly believes that music enhances his performance during exercise.
“I listen to heavy-metal music to get me pumped-up during a workout or when I go for a run,” said Davidson in a face-to-face interview.
“I have an extremely hard time finding the motivation to exercise if I don’t have any music to listen to.”
“When I listen to music my mood can change depending on the beat, melody or lyrics. A song can make me want to have fun, or a song can take a total turn and make me feel sad if I have a relation to the lyrics,” said Brittany Morgan, a student at the Delmar College of Hair & Esthetics in Calgary.
Research concludes that slow music can lower the heartbeat and breathing rate as well as decrease the blood pressure of the listener. Faster music was found to evoke the opposite reaction.
An Australian physician and psychiatrist, Dr. John Diamond, discovered a direct correlation between muscle strength or weakness and music.
He discovered that every muscle in the entire body is weakened when subjected to the “stopped anapestic beat” of music from hard-rock musicians, including Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Queen and The Doors.
According to the Centre for New Discoveries in Learning, learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by listening to music with a tempo of 60 beats-per-minute when studying.
“I generally prefer to listen to softer, mellower music when I’m doing something that requires close focus and attention,” said Davidson. “I find that it helps me produce thoughts and ideas a little more clearly.”
Music’s influence on society can be seen throughout history.
When former American president Thomas Jefferson struggled to find the proper wording for a certain part of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he would play his violin to help him.
The music enabled him to get the words from his brain onto the paper.
Studies completed at McGill University in Montreal affirmed that listening to pleasurable music of any genre induces “musical chills,” which trigger the release of the chemical dopamine, which is linked to feelings of pleasure.