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Leadership Team for Herts Music Service

Katherine Wolfenden
Deena Day
Angela Gilby
Rebecca Kelly
Nick Denham


Music keeps our mind and body in tune

When you hear your favourite songs on the radio or even a stirring piece of music you often get goosebumps – and now experts know why.

Music: Its like a drug

When we are moved by music our brains behave as if reacting to tasty food, psychoactive drugs or money, research shows.

The pleasure experience is driven by the ‘reward’ chemical dopamine, which has been linked to addiction.

It produces physical effects known as ‘chills’ that cause changes in electrical skin conductance, heart rate, breathing and temperature.

Valorie Salimoor, from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, tested volunteers who were given MRI brain scans while listening to music. During ‘peak emotional arousal’ regions of the brain linked to pleasure and reward released dopamine – the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter that helps nerve cells send signals to each other.

At the same time, the effect of the music was reflected in body ‘chills’.

Dopamine release was greatest when listeners had a strong emotional response to music, revealed the research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

‘If music-induced emotional states can lead to dopamine release, as our findings indicate, it may begin to explain why musical experiences are so valued,’ the researchers added.


Henley Review of Music Education published!

What the Review means for Music Services across the country and for HMS. James Dickinson analyses the impact in the Teachers' Area. Login to find out how this will effect teachers in Hertfordshire.

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