“Music produces a kind of pleasure that human nature cannot do without”
We could also cite “If music be the food of love, play on” from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and there are no doubt many more famous and some not so famous quotes on the pleasure of music.
The world of rock and pop has come a long way from being politically correct and restrained to the now political and honest music where the music and lyrics often have a real impact on the listener and can open up memories, feelings, joy, sadness and all other types of emotions.
Indeed, music is scientifically proven to engage with our brains. A recent study found that when people in the study took a drug to block the chemical compounds in the brain that activate the so-called pleasure centre, they no longer responded to music.
Pleasure, or reward, is experienced in two phases in the brain, according to the study. The first phase is the anticipatory, or ‘wanting’ phase, which is driven by the neurotransmitter dopamine. The second phase is the consummatory, or ‘liking’ phase, and is driven by opioids in the brain, the research cites.
“This is the first demonstration that the brain’s own opioids are directly involved in musical pleasure,” senior study author Daniel Levitin, a professor of psychology at McGill University in Canada, commented.
The pleasure is all ours…
Here at The Rock Project Berkshire we are lucky to have a continuous stream of music in our lives, which inspires, motivates and evokes us. We also see this in our students and have asked a handful which songs inspire different emotions for them, alongside their parents and the team behind it all.
“After seeing my son perform in the end of year concert, every time I hear Avril Laveigne’s song ‘Complicated’ it brings a smile to my face and a surge of pride as I remember him playing the guitar,” says one parent whose son is in the Bracknell sessions.
“I grew up with The Smiths and the whole Indie era and love the memories these songs evoke – oh the misery of Morrissey!” comments our PR guru.
“I love ‘How you remind me’ by Nickleback and couldn’t believe I performed it live at the end of year concert! That memory will always stay with me and hearing that song takes me back there,” comments one of our senior students.
“What does music mean to me? Gosh, big question! I guess music to me is an outlet. I was never great with words as a child. I struggled to form sentences properly and tended to have some pretty awkward conversations. When I discovered my love of drumming and music in general, all of a sudden I didn’t need words to communicate. Through drumming I could show people if I was happy, sad, excited or if I was thinking quickly or slowly. Slowly this transitioned into other instruments and with them came more nuanced, specific emotion and feeling in my playing. Not many other mediums can make you feel very, VERY specific emotions the way music can,” comments Ben one of our bass tutors.
“Music is, for me, the ultimate combination of the beauty of mathematics with emotion and feeling. It has the ability to conjure up memories, or to create new ones entirely. I remember the first time I heard Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ album as a teenager. Looking through the album artwork while listening to the opening track, just taking in the whole atmosphere – I don’t think you ever forget moments like that!” says Rob one of our guitar tutors.
Send us your comments of what music means to you… @trpberkshire (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram)
Harmeet August 24th, 2017
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