“We are musical beings. Let’s see what science tells us, and benefit from it.”

“We are musical beings. Let’s see what science tells us, and benefit from it.”

What is neuromusic?

Simply put, it’s the neuroscience of music. In other words, the study of the brain processes that, based on sound vibrations, make musical experience possible. IIt includes vibrational, physical, chemical, electrical and nervous aspects.

Does it include emotions?

Yes, emotions, the motor part, creativity, perception, behavior… emotions are Physiological changes that our body goes through for certain stimuli. Music greatly evokes emotional states.

You’re a communications engineer, piano teacher, and MBA. How did you become interested in this field?

Several years ago, I started reading things about the brain. I became fond of running and listening to music and started To have experiences I didn’t understand. What’s very strange, and which I still haven’t fully explained to myself, is that when I run (maybe because it improves oxygenation) and listen to music I understand English better.

I noticed that too I had more creativity, more flow of ideas. All of this led me to do a Master’s degree in Psychobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience to try to find out more and understand what was happening to me.

And I discovered the great potential of music. And not just from a health standpoint, however And in other areas such as education. Why can something that seems so simple affect a person so comprehensively? This is what I tried to study, analyze and clarify.

what is the answer?

The answer is in the brain. It is not the music that causes these effects, however The response of our nervous systemmodified by personal characteristics.

Training has a lot to do with itOur experiences, the environment we grew up in, the family atmosphere, whether we listened to a lot of music… these factors determine our responses to many things in life, and music has a huge influence.

It also happens that when we listen to one music or another, The first effect is physiological: It’s interesting to see that by listening to something specific, our physiology changes.

give me an example.

Well, for example, we listen to slow music and after ten minutes the heart rate drops. In other words, our physiology has been coupled to something external, namely It turns into nerve impulses It circulates through our nervous system causing changes.

What is the main idea you present in your book?

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It is a two-part study. The first is dedicated to revealing basic knowledge of the physics of soundThe brain, the work of the auditory system, and the interaction of sound vibrations translated into impulses with the brain.

Know what it is and how it works, I turn to analyzing what happens when we singwe play an instrument, dance or listen to music, explaining what was observed in the research and trying to explain everything we know, because there is still a lot to discover.

Does making and listening to music have different effects on the brain?

The basic difference lies in the motor part and other cognitive functionsBecause when we play an instrument, there are more brain areas involved than when we simply listen to it.

For example, memory, which helps us remember what we have played and what we should play next to understand a musical phrase. Making music is a more complete exercise. It is often said that music is an art that requires more cognitive resources from the brain.

Studies were conducted on 70-year-olds who had never studied or played music and were asked to attend weekly lessons. It was found that after three to four months, their white and gray matter in the brain increased It has improved their memory.

So, do musicians with many years of professional careers have healthier brains or greater potential?

In principle, they have a different brain structure. One has been detected Greater volume in the cerebellumthe auditory cortex, the corpus callosum (which connects the two hemispheres), enhanced communication between the auditory and motor parts…

Also, since they have more white and gray matter, When neurodegeneration strikes, they can have a better quality of lifeBecause these things take longer to spoil. But there are other variables that can affect.

In addition to genetics, style and lifestyle. We have to think that there are many musicians who have dealt with many materials unwanted genes that weaken the brain, This is also important.

Has music been proven to have therapeutic properties?

There are examples of front-line centers where… Music is used for therapeutic purposes. For example, the American hospitals John Hopkins, the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,….

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In our country also, perhaps in a secondary way, in places like Hospital del Mar, Sant Joan de Déu, 12 de Octubre, La Paz, Sant Joan de Déu (Alicante) and others. Outside here, these practices are more recognized Professional music therapists work in parallel with doctors.

I miss in our country a center dedicated to analyzing this interaction between music and the brain. We have researchers working in isolation, though It would be helpful to have a central location In studying these possibilities.

At the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which for me is one of the leading research centers in the world, Positive effects have been observed on Alzheimer’s disease, By visual and auditory stimuli of 40 Hz.

Is it also known whether music enhances learning?

Most studies link music to language learning. In fact, music and language are still sounds and vibrations that engage many areas of the brain and thus If you strengthen one, you simultaneously strengthen the other.

In other fields, such as mathematical computation, this has not been proven. But with language there is evidence. Studies have been done on people with dyslexia who have difficulty keeping up with rhythms. If they practice rhythmic perception, the better they get, It also reduces their dyslexia.

So when I argue with my son because he plays music to study, am I right?

This is a typical question. If he told you the truth, It may help you focus. It’s another thing to deceive you. Not long ago, a researcher from the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) specializing in quantum mechanics explained in an interview that, in order to compose himself, he listened to rock music…

But all that too It depends on how the person is, the moment and your mood. Music that may be helpful to him one day, the next day, is not helping him and he has to turn it off.

Music has the uncanny ability to calm us, cheer us up, energize us, or even make us cry. What mechanisms activate us?

Essentially, biochemical changes that release neurotransmitters and hormones, affecting the functions of the body’s organs. Listening to music can produce these changes.

It is known that There is a relationship between levels of certain neurotransmitters and mood: If we lack serotonin, we become depressed, and if we get a dose of dopamine, our energy increases. Listening to music can be a dopamine rush, and this has been measured in brain studies.

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It also has great provocative ability.

Yes, sometimes it’s like entering a time tunnel. Interestingly, it is the musical compositions that we remember most during our lives It has to do with adolescenceBecause it happens when the hormonal revolution coincides with listening to too much music. At that time in our lives we are very attached to Him.

Is there a type of music that is beneficial for the brain?

no. Your best music is your own music. One day it could be blues, the next a Mozart sonata, and the next reggaeton. This is what everyone needs at every moment. As long as we’re not talking in therapeutic terms, of course.

If we do, what is the good?

You find him outside, We must first know the person’s musical historyWhat songs does he like? Because if we treated him with music that he did not like, the results would not be better.

Then we have to evaluate what we want to achieve. If the person has movement problems, have him listen to a specific rhythm he likes It can encourage him to be diligent in doing things that suit him.

Knowing all this, what role should music play in our society?

The message I want to convey is that we should neither overestimate nor underestimate its importance. We must make fair use of it, taking into account scientific progress in this regard. I would never say that music is a miracle or that it cures everything, but I believe it does It has a lot of untapped potential.

However, with this new outlook that seeks to humanize hospitals, they are already making inroads. In the field of education, music helps us enhance cognitive abilities. It can also be used to encourage teamwork, work on values, or experience emotions. We are musical beings: let’s see what science tells us, and benefit from it.

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