Music modulates moods (body chemicals) to increase creativity and reduce stress. .
Music increases the levels of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin in the brain
These brain chemicals increase the levels of creativity and reduce stress.
"I will certainly promote this programme + concept to the Principal for consideration. It seems to be a positive and practical method that addresses all learning styles, ability levels and interest levels. High enjoyment factor. Very positive experience, I came with high level of apprehension & low level of self-confidence as I'm not trained as a musician in any way. Happily I left with lower level of anxiety and a desire to learn more. Loved this hands-on approach & supporting attitude. Great resources :)" ~ Prue East, Teacher at Torbay School
ROLE OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS (Brain chemistry)
The chemical messengers involved in regulation of our moods and motivation play a very important role in creativity. Without the right motivation and mood, we cannot be very creative!
a. Dopamine – the” Pleasure” hormone: This chemical molecule forms part of our reward system. It is secreted in the limbic system (emotional brain) whenever any reward or pleasure is anticipated – This dopamine is utilized in making the person perform the task that would lead to the reward or pleasure. If this dopamine is not utilized here, it is free to be transported to the PFC (Prefrontal Cortex), where it is channelized to increase focus, concentration, motivation for long term novel challenging task – all essential for creativity.
b. Serotonin – the “Zen-master” of our brain: As the chief mood modulator of our brain, serotonin levels play a very important role in the creative process. Low levels of serotonin are seen in depressed people. In addition to inducing a general level of well-being, serotonin also plays a very important role in halting the stress circuits in our brain. A stressed or depressed person is not capable of creative genius.
c. Cortisol – the “Stress” Hormone. While the above three chemicals aid in the creative process, this is one chemical that is a great hindrance to the creative process. Produced in large quantities in the body during the fight or flight response, constant high levels of Cortisol in our blood stream cloud our cognitive process, making any creative thinking almost impossible.
Musetude increases 4th brain Dopamine and reduces Dopamine in 2nd brain (Striatum) Thus, to boost the creative process, activities that raise the levels of dopamine, serotonin and Oxytocin and those that decrease the levels of stress hormones are invaluable. These are just a few of the most relevant neurotransmitters from the vast sea of chemicals in our brain that play an important role in the creative process.
"Amazing. I can see the potential at the programme and how the class could benefit in all curriculum areas. Was an interesting, fun, practical day. Am not sure but this course has stimulated my interest in music, dance etc." ~ Gail Grogan, Teacher at Murrays Bay Primary School
Augmentation of prefrontal cortical monoaminergic activity inhibits dopamine release in the caudate nucleus: An in vivo neurochemical assessment in the rhesus monkey B. S. Kolachana, R. C. Saunders, and D. R. Weinberger NeuroscienceVolume 69, Issue 3, December 1995, Pages 859-868
Ever had goose bumps or felt euphoric chills when listening to a piece of music? If so, your brain is reacting to the music in the same way as it would to some delicious food or a psychoactive drug such as cocaine, according to scientists. The experience of pleasure is mediated in all these situations by the release of the brain's reward chemical, dopamine, according to results of experiments carried out by a team led by Valorie Salimpoor of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, published in Nature Neuroscience. This is the first time that scientists have shown an abstract rewarding experience could release dopamine, which is usually released in response to activities such as taking drugs, having sex or eating.
According to the researchers, it also shows that these neurological pathways that respond to music are ancient and, though music has no obvious survival benefit, this response has been found across societies. Dr Robert Zatorre, a neuroscientist at The Neuro, said on the university's website, "Our results help to explain why music is of such high value across all human societies".http://new.mmegi.bw/index.php?sid=1&aid=437&dir=2011/January/Wednesday26
The effects of music on the mind and brain have been a subject of scientific study for many years. It still constitutes a large field of study to understand its medical implications and also as a healer. In fact, music therapy is found to be very effective in treating seizures, depression, treatment of ADD people, insomnia, or conditions like premature infancy. Problems like excessive worry, anxiety, or depression create a 'chaotic' situation in the brain, hampers its working power, reasoning ability, and execution of conventional tasks becomes difficult. It happens because of reduced levels of serotonin. 50 million of the brain cells are affected by levels of serotonin.
NEUROLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE - DOMINATION OF LOWER COGNITIVE MODES: a. Low levels of Oxytocin and Serotonin and high levels of Cortisol are predominant in most in our stress–ridden society today. Though we have a brilliant PFC, we still carry with us all the earlier brains and along with them, their modes of cognitive processing. Since these older modes- instinctive, emotional and rational are survival based, they strongly influence our cognition if they perceive threat or insecurity of any sort.
b. High stress – low creativity: In today’s high-stress lifestyle with stiff competition and race for survival, these brains in us are on hyper alert most of the time. Instead of the PFC performing the higher cognitive functions leading to creativity and genius, it is entirely locked in calming down the stressors of life and maintaining appropriate social behavior, while the lower brains play havoc – to recuperate, most of us need that weekly off and a regular vacation.
c. Higher emphasis on short term rewards: Competition and stress–ridden society looks forward to short term rewards for pleasure. All dopamine released in the second brain is thus channelized towards such activities – these are the basis of all our addictive behaviours – television, food addictions, smoking, drinking, drugs etc, that preoccupy our lives; leaving very little dopamine for long term rewarding behaviours – for all our creative endeavours.