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International Baccalaureate Music’s Effects On The Human Mind and Body

International Baccalaureate Extended Essay

Abstract

Last year I was alerted to a study in which it was shown that children who took piano lessons had greater spatial reasoning skills than their counterparts who had not received any music instruction at all. Being a musical individual, I was immediately interested. This interest was the spark for my Extended Essay, in which I approach the question: “What effect does music have upon an individual?”

I was able to gather enough information to see that music had two specific effects: those upon the mind and those upon the body. Upon closer examination of my materials, though, the effects which it had on the body were all related to pain and music’s analgesic abilities. Since music it self is not a narcotic in any sense of the word, it must trigger endorphins to act as pain-killers. Thus, I found that music has a calming effect on the body. This calming effect is directly related to its effects on the mind.

Since the funding for many music programs in schools in the United States is being reduced or removed, it only seemed logical to explore the effects that music has upon one of the most important aspects of the mind; education.

My findings indicate music can help calm individuals and groups and prove beneficial to the learning environment both by physically changing the structure of the brain and improving spatial reasoning abilities.

Music’s Effects On The Human Mind and Body
Word Count: 3971 words

Music is everywhere. From the womb, you experience sound: your mother’s heartbeat, breathing and muffled voice. Growing up you sing songs and hear music being played—you may even make your own music. From the discordant, irritating noise of traffic in the street to the soft, soothing Muzak played in the elevator and at shopping malls, music surrounds you and, may impact you without your knowledge. The constant honking of a car horn will tend to irritate you; whereas, a string quartet playing classical music has the tendency to calm you. As music’s calming powers are its most noticeable results, it would prove worthwhile to explore the benefits of listening to music as a means of relaxation as well as what possible applications music may have in relation to this phenomenon.
Countless studies have shown that music’s relaxing effects can be seen on anyone, including newborns. Music therapist Janel Caine explored the effects of music on preterm babies and low-weight...

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Length:   21 pages (4,811 words)

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