Music is taught at Worth School and it has long been established that music is important to us all. The influence that it has on our brains and souls has to a certain extent been forgotten by today’s society. We have also been told at Worth School that music can aid in a person’s growth, development and even the recovery from any setback we experience.
The great philosopher Plato said that “musical training is a more potent instrumental than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way to the inward places of the soul”. The meaning of this is that music has a bigger influence on us other than just that of singing along to our favourite track when it comes on the radio.
Unfortunately, music has lost its significance in education today; in fact most people today would suggest that music is there to be fun (the current music students at worth school find it fun). However if this were the case, how could music have the ability to put a smile on our face when things are bad or revoke memories of the past? In reality, music is not so much on a personal level as it is a communication tool that reaches far beyond our capabilities of explaining in words.
From this we can see that music has a greater influence on us than we realise. The effect it has on the brain and subsequently causing repercussions such as shivers down your spine or goose bumps (which scientists believe is due to an increase of dopamine released throughout your body), can be related to those feelings that we have embedded into our primal instincts when we feel a certain way. What is unclear however, is how music can do this to us, when it is only just vibrations entering our ears.
One theory that merges both science and faith proposes that music touches us on a spiritual wavelength, which the brain then reacts to. It connects us to God as well as the people around us. Music festivals are a prime example of the way that music entices people to interact with each other.
Another important use of music, that for centuries has been appreciated, is its healing abilities. Throughout the years, music has been used to treat mental illness and is now being used to aid in the treatment of more physical treatments, such as to those who have suffered a stroke. Research has shown that music can reduce stress, decrease depression and improve the mood of someone.
Ultimately, music impacts us on all levels. From visibly connecting to our brains to spiritually linking us with God; we still have a long way to go to fully understand the effects of music on us, but the unexplainable nature of music is probably part of the reason its special to us.
This piece was originally written by Worth School student Hugh Lurcott and first appeared in the Worth School student magazine Identity.