We are growing increasingly familiar with vision of athletes preparing for a big match by wearing a pair of headphones and listening to music. Inherently we seem to comprehend that the athlete is using the powers of music to help focus; deal with pressure or lift their mood for peak performance. But how often do we apply this amazing power to our own performance?

For those of you who have experienced our programs at BioLAB you will notice that we have included music as a key ingredient in many of our learning tasks. You may have even been lucky (or unlucky) enough to have one of Education Officers break into dance or song during your program! This is because we are hoping to use the power of music in helping you to learn, exercise and better understand the way in which your amazing body works!

In the same way an athlete might use music to prepare for peak performance we can also look to harness the effects of music on our own learning and performance; whether it be dealing with stressful situations; preparing for that next online chat with your teacher or completing that annoying assignment you can’t seem to start….

Studies have shown that music produces several positive effects on a human’s body and brain. Music activates both the left and right brain at the same time, and the activation of both hemispheres can maximise learning; improve memory and positively affect your mood. Music is also an effective stress reducer in both healthy individuals and people with health problems. Research finds that listening to soothing music can decrease blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety levels.

Music is a way to process emotions and better deal with being overwhelmed. People often turn to the music they can relate to as it helps them deal with stress. So, if remote learning, social isolation has got you feeling a bit down, dazed or distracted then it might be a good idea to put some music on. Not only might it help you concentrate on your studies, but it may also help to keep stress at bay and even put you in the mood to learn!

Grab that 80’s style boom box and turn the volume up!

Here are some great research articles if you are keen to further explore the power of music on the human body:

Koelsch S, Boehlig A, Hohenadel M, Nitsche I, Bauer K, Sack U. The impact of acute stress on hormones and cytokines, and how their recovery is affected by music-evoked positive mood. Sci Rep. 2016;6:23008. Published 2016 Mar 29. doi:10.1038/srep23008

Archana R, Mukilan R. Beneficial Effect of Preferential Music on Exercise Induced Changes in Heart Rate Variability. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016;10(5):CC09–CC11. doi:10.7860/JCDR/2016/18320.7740

Thoma MV, La Marca R, Brönnimann R, Finkel L, Ehlert U, Nater UM. The effect of music on the human stress response. PLoS One. 2013;8(8):e70156. Published 2013 Aug 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070156