Music’s Effect on the Brain and How It Will Make You a Better Writer
Exploring how music stimulates specific parts of our brain, which genres are best to listen to while writing, and the scientific reasons why
Music is a big part of my life. When I cook and clean, music is on. When my husband and I have our date night once a month, it consists of drinks and listening to music on our record player.
When I was pregnant with my daughter, I bought specially made headphones for my belly and she listened to music for an hour a day in utero. Needless to say, music is always on in our house!
While I write I listen to a genre of music called lo-fi hip-hop, it is jazz-infused instrumental music. I find it calming, atmospheric, and inspiring. Naturally, there are no lyrics to distract me so I tend to write faster.
Most of us “creative types” love music. Whether we can sing or not, we sing along. Music may have given us ideas for our stories. The link between music and creativity is undeniable!
“The Mozart effect” states that music can be powerful enough to elicit emotions and influence actions. Unfortunately, the research on the Mozart effect doesn’t speak about the musical influence on the creative process of a writer.
However, music is used in studies on literacy in children. Music has been shown to improve a child’s emotional connection to words while reading books.
This is because music gives humans a connection to words and elicits a response in our brains. I believe that music helps my creative flow when I’m writing. Lo-fi in particular, really helps me focus. This is the genre that works best for me.
In our brain chemistry, different genres of music produce different results. I chose to research the four genres of music I thought would be most beneficial to listen to while writing. The results were intriguing!
Personally, I fell in love with opera music after I went to a showing of “La Boheme” at my local theatre. I never thought I, a self-proclaimed rap nerd, would enjoy an opera but it moved me to tears.
Listening to opera increases the dopamine in our brain, which improves our mood.