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Music for Health

How Music is Beneficial for Pregnancy

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Pregnancy can be one of the most joyful times in a woman’s life. During this time, the expectant mother is ensuring that she and her baby are healthy, and this means being on top of diet, physical exercise, and sleep. But did you know that another small contribution a mother could attribute to her health and mindfulness is by incorporating music?

According to multiple studies conducted overtime, “Unborn babies who were exposed to music while in the womb showed a significant improvement in their overall mental, cognizant, behavioral, sensory, psychological and emotional development.” Therefore, listening to music can not only improve the baby’s health but also helps the soon-to-be mother relax by alleviating anxiety and stress. It also helps mother and child develop a close bond.

Science Behind Music and Neonatal Health

In order to fully understand how music affects the brain, we must dive deep into understanding how different hormones and receptors impact our body. Music can influence the transmission of dopamine in the brain and can affect growth factors important for our bodies such as tyrosine kinase receptors and brain-derived neurotrophic factors. In addition, music affects our endocrine system, specifically altering our adrenal and gonad steroids, which contribute to increased neonatal cognitive performance.

Scientists Ravindra Arya, Maya Chansoria, Ramesh Konaki, and Dileep K. Tiwari conducted a study in 2012 to further validate these scientific facts. Mothers who were in their 20 weeks period before gestation had to play a pre-recorded piece of Indian classical music. They followed this routine every night for 4 months for 50 minutes prior to sleeping with a normal volume, and the results of the study demonstrated the efficacy of music and infant health. The infants had a heightened response to social interactions, meaning that they responded better to “animate and inanimate, auditory, and visual stimuli presented separately or together.” In addition, newborn babies showed a higher performance rate for “range and regulation of behavioral states and autonomic stability.

Common Opinion Regarding Music and Neonatal Health

Those who work outside the scientific community also concur with the fact that music enhances a baby’s health. The current information circulating within these realms is that music improves a baby’s reflexes, auditory senses, and overall personality. For specific song recommendations, below are the Top 5 songs for pregnancy on Spotify.

  1. Fur Elise (spotify:track:3ro1fjNvFzdwZDMIvzlFKL)
  2. Piano Sonata No. 2 in C Major, D: 279 I. Allegro Moderato (https://open.spotify.com/album/4FXJTRZIgy1EEXL9eSGvMF)
  3. Chopin Nocturne (spotify:track:00jD9Ynyo2971OMmksorbu)
  4. Greensleeves (spotify:track:7KGD9CCTZxFo13eE5eS3Lj)
  5. Moonlight Sonata (spotify:track:3lDgg5Ua6KKhrhUGr4CY5J)

Pregnancy is one of the biggest life-changing moments for a woman, and it is important that she keeps in good emotional health for herself and the baby. These songs can help women feel happy, relaxed, and calm throughout the stages of their pregnancy. Overall, music, especially soft-classical music, can stimulate a sense of happiness within the mother and also ensures that her baby is in good health as well.

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Music for Health

The Benefits and Detriments of Music to Overall Health

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Music is used to connect people culturally, express strongly held opinions, or get through the grind of the day. As you can see, music is an integral aspect of our daily lives. But did you know that volume, genre, and frequency of music can affect our health? There is widespread contention from the scientific community in regards to the efficacy of music. While some scholars believe that certain types of music correlate with increased intelligence, others cite that it stimulates distraction and inattention.

Pro: Classical Music Bolsters Spatial Intelligence

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Music has the power to evoke emotion, empowerment, and equanimity; however, certain music has been scientifically proven to increase intelligence. Scientist Gordon L. Shaw co-founded the theory of the Mozart Effect at the University of California, Irvine; this theory demonstrated that listening to classical music for long periods of time can increase one’s capacity for spatial reasoning. Spatial reasoning is defined as “the ability to mentally move objects in space and time to solve multi-step problems”. Shaw and his graduate student created a brain model and used musical notes to correlate to brain activity, and eventually realized that the sounds picked up in the brain represented classical music.

Many subsequent experiments confirmed the relationship between classical music and increased spatial intelligence. One of Shaw’s personal studies resulted in college students increasing their IQs by nine points upon listening to Mozart’s “Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major.” In another study, a group of three to four-year-olds were given keyboard lessons for four to six months, and their spatial and temporal reasoning was measured to be 34% better compared to those who did not receive piano lessons.

With the rise in advanced technology, scientists are currently studying neural circuits from infancy to childhood and hope to draw stronger correlations between classical music and intelligence. In the meantime, it’s safe to say that expanding our repertoire of classical music in our daily lives may, in fact, improve our overall intelligence quotient.

Con: Music Hinders Attention Span

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In this day and age, millennials are buried under their headphones in their ears while carrying out day to day tasks such as driving or studying. Despite the ubiquity of the scene, the type of music and its noise level limits a person’s attention span and can be detrimental to overall health.

One study conducted by the University of Wales discovered that listening to music can impede performance. For this study, there were 25 test subjects between the ages of 18 and 30; they had to memorize and later recollect a specific list of letters given to them under quiet conditions, with favorable or unfavorable music, and with audio reciting numbers. The study concluded that students“performed the worst while listening to music, regardless of whether they liked that music, and to the speech of random numbers,” thus proving that music hinders the process of learning.

This idea that music decreases attention span is further demonstrated through the dangers of distracted driving. Participants have a slower reaction time when exposed to loud music. Another study noted that their driving performance worsened with one’s preferred music, including more traffic violations and errors and aggression in driving. Additionally, the volume of the music is important to consider. A study conducted in Canada demonstrated that reaction times decreased up to 20 percent upon being exposed to loud volume, thus increasing motorists accidents.

While music does bring about certain health benefits, it can be detrimental if the projection is not used in moderation. Since music can deter our concentration during cognitively challenging tasks, perhaps it is best to keep the volume at a normal tempo and listen only for a few hours. Moderation of music, when exercised with caution, has the power to make us more alert, aware, and cognizant of our actions and our surroundings.


Regardless of the varied perspectives, the purpose of this pro and con article is to shed some perspective on music and health and help formulate your own opinions. Comment below if you resonate with any of these views or if you have experienced some of the same health effects through music!

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Music for Health

Music to Heal Wounds

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Who would have thought that the chords and melodies contribute to boosting one’s health? Sign up for that premium music account today because it’s now a considerable investment for your health.

In a 2016 study, researchers have found that music can alleviate depressive symptoms, eases pain, and lowers the levels of cortisol. Music “selectively activates” neurochemical systems associated with emotions, attention, and memory. The study also found that music helps to improve stress-related complications in adults suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Although the impact that music has on the biology of humankind is not fully understood, studies have shown that it is related to the chemical hormone called dopamine. This hormone has positive effects on mood and has the power to improve overall health and well-being. Other potential benefits of music include:

    • Improves cognition. Enhances memory due to repetitive rhythms and improve mental abilities.
    • Increases workout endurance. For some, listening to top workout tracks can boost the exercise session through the power of distraction.
    • Beneficial to children with autism. Music therapy showed improvement in social responses, communication skills, and attentivity.
    • Lessens anxiety. Reduces stress and anxiety, shown in studies with cancer patients. It could also alter brainwave speeds when you meditate.
    • Eases pain. Patients who listened to music before surgery had an overall more satisfactory outcome compared with patients who did not.
    • Soothes premature babies. Live music impacts vital signs and improves feeding behaviors.

Whether or not you believe music attributes to the biological benefits of your health, it’s been a part of our history and throughout various cultures. We sing and dance to all kinds of music that brings us joy, and these harmonies have shown some positive effects on people. Not only does it help us cope with pain, but ramps up our physical and mental health in many other ways.  

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