Music has the power to take us out of ourselves and change our mindset. A familiar song can transport us back to our childhood, or haunt us to the point of distraction. The great thing about music is we can use it to change our outlook, reduce our stress and lift our moods. It also helps us to concentrate.
We have a natural inclination towards melody and rhythmic timing. Just play a tune or steady beat for a child and they will instantly respond. Dr. Jonathan Berger hypothesized that music enhances our ability to pay attention and anticipate changes. The building and release of tension created by dynamics in music and transitions (such as between a verse and a chorus) encourages us to develop a sense of timing. Brain imaging studies have shown that music impacts the area of the brain that governs pleasure. The act of listening to music releases dopamine, giving us a sense of happiness and even hope.
Researchers have analyzed the link between music and mood. A study on college students showed that listening to music elevated positive moods and decreased pessimism. The genre of music and where they were when they heard it made no difference. Scientists in Finland conducted interviews with adolescents to find out how music improves mood. Some of the answers they gave included using music to disrupt unpleasant thoughts, recalling positive memories and releasing anger and frustration. They also discovered that while sad music may invoke unpleasant memories, people often reported feeling like they had a better understanding of these feelings instead of ruminating to the point of despair.
The brain’s susceptibility to music gives us a fantastic tool for changing or stabilizing our emotions. Our response to music is very individualized, so think about what you like to listen to you and how it makes you feel. For example, listening to more aggressive forms of music, such as metal, punk or industrial, provides an outlet for pent-up frustration. Mainstream pop and dance music promotes a sense of fun to help you momentarily forget about problems. Orchestral and ambient music soothes and relaxes the listener. Somber music encourages introspection and acceptance of the things that disturb us.
Burbank offers a wide variety of stores to give something to everyone. If you like owning your music on a physical medium as opposed to downloading it, here are some places you can go to acquire CDs and vinyl.
- Atomic Records is near the intersection of Hollywood Way and Magnolia Blvd. It has a huge selection of records, cassettes and CDs of just about every genre of music. The staff is friendly and highly knowledgeable. If there is something specific you want, let them know and they will be able to find it.
- Backside Records on San Fernando Blvd. carries used music and a significant array of apparel and accessories. It is located in the heart of the Burbank Town Square. Check out their website for upcoming events and promotions.
- Best Buy, located in the Empire Center off of Victory Place, carries the latest CDs and a great selection of compact disc and digital music players. They also carry DVDs of concerts and music documentaries.