It seems like every day, more studies come out about the power of music to empower the human brain and promote learning. Of course, these studies only reinforce what we’ve known all along: that music education–and music in general–promotes success in students and adults!
The most recent study underscoring this truth comes from McGill University in Montreal. This new study concludes that shown that we can use music to activate the brain’s reward center and motivate learning based on the correct prediction of outcomes. Basically, the more music you listen to, the more your brain recognizes patterns in the composition of the piece. When the piece of music you are listening to confirms these patterns your brain is predicting, the brain’s reward center is activated, and learning increases!
Our results demonstrate that musical events can elicit formally modeled reward prediction errors like those observed for concrete rewards, such as food or money, and that these signals support learning. This implies that predictive processing might play a much wider role in reward and pleasure than previously realized.”
Benjamin Gold, author of the study
Scientific evidence that music is rewarding and pleasurable? Perhaps we implicitly knew this already, but this study confirms the fact that music itself is an end, and not just a means to an end. “This finding,” reports Medical News Today, “indicates that music is, in itself, a viable reward and one that can provide enough motivation to the brain to learn new information that will allow it to access this source of pleasure more easily.”
So keep listening to music, thinking about music, and reap the rewards of pleasure, motivation, and learning!
Mozart? Chopin? Chill Lo-fi Study Beats? What music do you listen to in order to motivate learning? Let us know in the comments!