Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Music exerts powerful physical and psychological effects on humans

Posted on: March 18, 2013

Last week, in the midst of our Bach and Sons concert tour, I wrote an article on the joy of music-making and music-sharing for my monthly organ studio newsletter.   I was on a “high” doing what I love most—performing and sharing our show with audiences—and wrote the article to help my students realize the “high” they will feel when performing on their upcoming Spring Concert.  Interestingly, after returning home, I was reading through the stack of magazines that had collected in our absence and discovered an article on studies being conducted on the concept of the endorphin rush.  Thus, the resulting compilation of thoughts and ideas.

Music has always exerted powerful physical and psychological effects on humans, but scientists have only recently made the connection of different types of music with the production of endorphins. Although music affects each individual differently, research has shown that classical, rock, heavy metal, and even the music in elevators produces specific physical and psychological effects. By judiciously choosing the types (and pieces) of music we most enjoy, we can enhance endorphin production in our everyday lives.


Studies also conclude that it is the active performance of music that generates the endorphin high.”[2]

[2] Evolutionary Psychology 10(4): 688-702 R. I. M. Dunbar, University of Oxford


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