Plato once said that music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue. For students faced with deadlines and semester tests, there seems to be no time for searching one’s soul for virtue. However, what Plato forgot to mention was that music can also be the movement of sound to reach the soul for the virtue of education.
Studies have found that while individuals all possess their own preferences regarding music genres, all genres have a synchronised effect on our brains, bringing us together, harmonisation at its finest. Going through the day-to-day task of life can bring up an array of emotions that students might not have time to confront. Rather than suppressing these negative thoughts and feelings due to lack of time, students should turn to music as a time-efficient outlet. When walking around campus, rushing to early lectures, and fighting with group members who do not understand the concept of referencing, it becomes difficult to keep a clear level-headed mind. By knowing what they are feeling and what music genre could help, students can pop in their earphones in between classes for that well deserved DIY therapy session. The best part is, it is free of charge thanks to Youtube and Tuks’s wifi.
After finishing up an assignment and clicking submit at midnight the last thing the brain wants to think about is the agonising realisation of a 07:30 class the next morning. If pop music were a substance, it would be coffee. When the brain hears that funky beat it receives whispers from the auditory cortex, telling it to dance and sing to the high tempo and rhythmic beat. While it is not ideal for situations requiring the brain to concentrate, it is the perfect pick-me-up to get you strutting around campus and may even make that one lecturer with a monotone voice and boring slides bearable.
Navigating through student life can be equated to walking on a tightrope with an empty stomach and two caffeinated ferrets in each hand. Understandably, students become overwhelmed with stress as they walk this fine line, perhaps even misplacing a foot and slipping into bed for days as everything becomes too difficult to endure. When one feels themselves losing their balance, metal music can provide that alignment. With the loud instruments, fast pace, and changing tempo, metal bombards the brain with different messages. This confuses the brain long enough for those ugly feelings of stress, depression, or anger to make their way to the exit sign in your brain. Metal has also been associated with boosting one’s sense of identity, and might be just the thing for asking out that cute classmate.
Opening ClickUp to view a grade that shatters your self-esteem and seems to laugh at you while doing so is tough for everyone. Questioning your identity and self-worth is a dark path, and rap provides the “No Entry” sign that the brain often needs. Studies have found that rap music creates “positive visual imagery”, a psychotherapeutic technique often used by sportsmen to envision the places they would like to be. Rap provides an alternative path, a progression to a better mental state. Although the grade may not have changed, the brain is reminded that it is not less than wonderful.
With notifications from Instagram, Whatsapp messages from varsity groups, and just Tiktok in general, it feels impossible to keep your brain focused on that page-long equation or definition of Jurisprudence. Although one could select the “Do not disturb” setting on your device, that often does not seem to be enough. Studies have found that the genres such as classical, jazz, ambient, and instrumental rock have the effect of holding the brain steady long enough to navigate the rocky waves of distractions.
The same song affects everyone differently, there is no fixed formula to deduce what genre could work for certain situations. But knowing what music genre could provide one with the comforting outlet they have been searching for could come in handy.