Music is one of numerous approaches to influence emotion and moods. Music is a technique to generate an emotional experience that may provide a form to communicate emotions or moods that cannot be captured in words. Music exists because of the need for expression, particularly of emotions, that can only crudely be measured or described in words." Music can rapidly and powerfully set moods and emotions so rapidly than other means. Furthermore, music can envelop a larger environment more rapidly thus, establishing moods and emotions faster than words. You see this occur in major department stores, private health clubs and hospitals.
There are various musical arrangements that can be used to arouse. D. E. Berlyne hypothesized that when we listen to music, we unconsciously take account of things such as its complexity, familiarity and novelty. Suggesting, that these variables affects our preferences for music by altering basic brain processes that control our general level of excitability or arousal. Meaning, that any piece of music has an "arousal potential" for an individual. Mr. Berlyne found a link between the extent to which people like a piece of music and how much that music excites them. His findings revealed that a given piece of music evoke to some level of psych-biological arousal.
North and Hargreaves studied music and arousal potential. They found that music evoke emotional reactions by initiating feelings of like/dislike and increasing the level of excitement or arousal. Additionally, commenting that these factors by itself result in a particular emotion, but somehow together they yield actual emotions. Moreover, the study found that listening to the same musical excerpt could produce different emotions in the same person at different times.
In 1994, a study was done to investigate if music can suggest particular emotions or moods to its listeners. Knowledgeable musicians pre-selected musical compositions to evoke various emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger and fear. The study examined children between the ages of nine and ten and adults. The listeners would rate the mood or emotion to the music being presented. Results shown that upbeat music generated positive moods or emotions while sad music produced negative feelings. In other words, music is a genuine approach to emotional arousal. Professor Taniguchi of Kyoto University developed a study to investigate if selected background music would aid in the memory of words. He played either happy or sad music while subjects studied words that would reflect emotional arousal. Results show that retention of words that reflected positive or negative feelings better when listening to music associated with that feeling. Therefore, music induced moods and the affective meaning of language enhances memory compared to rote memory.
Rosalie Pratt and her fellow colleagues did a study involving nineteen students with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These disorders are characterized by selective inattention and impulse control problems. The study involved the subjects listening to Mozart as background music at least three times a week. The experimental group shown evidence of improved focus, mood control and social skills. Furthering the success of the study, seventy percent of the experimental group maintained the improvements after six months, implying long-term positive effects.
Dr. Robert Thayer, an expert on mood management wrote a book on what behaviors would you use to reduce nervousness, tension, or anxiety? The college students he interviewed responded with situations such as talking to others, listening to music, positive self-talk to name a few mood enhancers. Of the twenty-one potential mood regulators presented in his survey, music ranked third, only six percent difference between the top ranked mood modulator - talking to others. Apparently the brain can respond to music the same way calming words or a safe environment can achieve. In a study with twenty male Alzheimer's patients, they listened to a thirty-minute music session five times a week for one month. This study shown an increase of norepinephrine and epinephrine during the music therapy. However this success was short lived. These neurotransmitters returned to pre-therapy levels at the end of the study.
Using music as an arousal for the brain can occur, however, you as the producer have the ability to control some variables. The best type of music suited to bring about positive moods and emotions are classical music. Classical music is the most soothing, stimulating, and tranquil. The least effective type of music to use is with lyrics of hate and despair. Heavy metal music and certain rap songs tend to encourage negative moods and poorer arousals. When selecting types of music, find musical scores with only instrumental sonatas. If selecting lyrical music, find ones with positive reflections. These findings may guide future strategies to evoke positive emotions and calmness. Understanding of how music can inspire new learning approaches, present endless possibilities. Using distinctive music such as Mozart and other types to amplify motivation which as a result will stimulate certain chemicals in the body that heighten learning and blood flow. This way I believe educators can recognize the value of utilizing music in promoting a positive learning environment. This approach of student nurturing of the body and mind can be presented through physical activities that will explain brain functions and the learning process.