Beat to Your Own Drum


Catherine Sanders and Elisabeth Johnson, Journalist

Scientifically music has been proven to help elevate the brain’s functions. According to a study done by the University of Montreal, musicians tend to be more mentally alert opposed to those who don’t play an instrument. In an interview with Mr. Lee, the band director at Ipswich High School, we asked him a few questions on his view of music. When asked about the impact music has had on his life, he responded, “It was through music how I met and continue to meet my closest friends.” He also stated that he uses music as a tool to express himself. When asked if playing relieves stress he firmly agreed with the statement. In an article it was also proven that music does indeed reduce stress. During our interview, Mr. Lee explained how everyone has musical aptitude and that the higher aptitude, the more you can understand music. When you’re born everyone starts with a high aptitude, then it goes down, but playing music helps keep your aptitude up. 

Research has shown that when somebody plays an instrument or listens to music, there are physical changes that occur inside their brain. When you play an instrument, you are using your body’s nervous system, which consists of your brain and spinal cord. Then, your sensory information from your fingers, hands, and arms are sent up to your brain. One of the parts of your brain is called the hippocampus which is responsible for learning and memory. One of the evidences found of people who continuously practiced an instrument was that their hippocampus was enlarged inside of their brain. 

We also interviewed Casey, a current senior, who plays the flute. She has been playing since she was in the fourth grade and she spends most of her time playing the flute or listening to music. When asked about some aspects that playing an instrument benefits she responded with “Music teaches you to think outside the box.” She believes that musicians show a deeper appreciation for music which forces them to be creative. 

Playing music can lower stress levels in the body. Playing an instrument can increase the body’s production of something called immunoglobulin A antibodies (an antibody found in the bodies immune system), which can relieve stress in the body. Other factors such as concentrating on the music or having a personal connection with a composer can help relieve stress and make someone feel more calm.  Music has the ability to change the structure of your brain, and gives you a way to express yourself like nothing before.