The Effects of Music on the Brain

  • Music keeps the brain active – even while sleeping
  • Instrumental music is more conducive to concentration
  • Surgeons perform better when listening to music
  • Music can reduce blood pressure and is a defense against anxiety, depression and stress
  • Types of music impact our relationships and willingness to help others.

Even if we listen to music in a passive state and largely as a means to relax or let go, music is anything but. Whether you use it when you exercise or during a power nap, your brain, when in contact with music, is working at full!

Since the 1950s, many studies have focused on identifying the action of music on the brain.

Music and Work

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to music and work. Some prefer silence despite scientific proof that music helps to focus and improve efficiency and creativity.

In 1994, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a spectacular difference in performance of stressful operations between surgeons operating with their music of choice versus those that operated in silence.

In general, instrumental music has been shown to be more conducive to concentration than alternative forms. Lyrics and singing may cause distraction even if it is in an unconscious manner. That being said, the type of work being done and the monotony of the task will affect this.

The Mozart effect

Listen to music and your body, in particularly your brain, will say thank you. With slower music, it can improve circulation and dramatically reduce blood pressure.

According to a 2004 study involving rats listening to Mozart, music generates a supply of calcium to the brain that produces dopamine, inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system and reducing blood pressure. This also explains why music acts as a defense against anxiety, depression and stress.

Music makes us better

Beyond the biological benefits of music, it is now proven that it even has impact on our relationship with others.

A 2009 study revealed that if one is subjected to a happy music, the people who surround us will seem happier.

Even more surprising is the experience of psychologists Rona Fried and Leonard Berkowitz of the University of New York: they subjected a group of students to listen to calm music; another to stimulating music; a third group to music producing negative emotions; and lastly one with no music at all. The students were then asked to render a service. Students submitted to the calming music were more likely to help (90%), followed by those in the third group and those who did not listen to music (60%) and in last, the group subjected to more negative music (45%).

Moral of the story: listen, sing, play! It’s good for the body and for the soul.

Taken From Karaoke Version Blog

Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7

The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.

Q & A With Abby Westphal

Abby Westphal, an administrative aide in the Centennial Student Union Administrative Office for the past four years, is the CSU Student Employee of the Month for April 2017. We quizzed Abby on 20 very important topics so you could get to know her better.


Your Name: Abby Wesphal

Hometown: Circle Pines, Minnesota

Major: Nursing

Occupation: CSU Administrative Aide

Birthday: February 20

  1. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Declaration of Independence signing
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? A nurse
  3. What type of music would you (do you) sing in the shower? Country
  4. What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten? Alligator
  5. What is the happiest moment in your in your life so far? Nursing program acceptance
  6. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Minnesota, I love it here!
  7. If you could talk to one species of animal which would it be? Dogs
  8. What three items can always be found in your refrigerator? Frank’s Red Hot, eggs, milk
  9. If you could have dinner with three famous people (current or historic), who would they be? Betty White, Ryan Reynolds, Florence Nightinggale
  10. What is your favorite childhood memory? Spending time at my family’s cabin
  11. What is your most prized possession? Time with family and friends
  12. What tops your list of pet peeves? Loud chewers
  13. What tops your “bucket list?” Save someone’s life
  14. If you could have a super power, what would it be? To fly
  15. What is the one thing or achievement you are most proud of? Getting chosen for summer internship at University of Minnesota
  16. If you could start your dream business, what would it be? Bakery
  17. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you. I love Harry Potter
  18. How do you hope to be remembered (what will people say at your eulogy)? I would want people to remember me as caring, fun to be around, and as someone that is influential in a positive way.
  19. What three words best describe you? Ambitious, honest, conscientious
  20. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? Community feeling, my friends/classmates and my professors