It’s Music Appreciation Week at Notre Dame Prep, and by the looks (and sounds!) of it, music is in the air! More than 300 girls participate in NDP’s music program, which runs from grades 6 through 12. Whether it’s band, orchestra, chorus, jazz band, chamber choir, or AP music theory, NDP’s music program cultivates not only performance skills, but a genuine appreciation and love for music.
Here two officers in the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society, juniors Nicole Bulgarino and Sarah Hannon, offer up some fun music facts…just because!
- The most expensive musical instrument in the world is a Stradivarius violin, which was sold in 2011 for $15.9 million.
- The chills that occur when listening to music are mostly caused by the dopamine released by the brain while anticipating the peak moment of a song.
- Music is one of the few activities in life that utilizes the entire brain.
- Playing music regularly physically alters the brain structure. The cortex volume (specifically amount of neurons) was the greatest in professional musicians, intermediate in amateur musicians, and the least in non-musicians.
- One in 10,000 people have perfect pitch, but some never discover it.
- The brain responds to music the same way it responds to eating by releasing dopamine.
- Your heartbeat mimics the beat of the music to which you are listening and the crescendos or decrescendos.
- When a song seems to be stuck in your head, it is called an “earworm” or a “cognitive itch.” This comes from the need of the auditory cortex of the brain to fill gaps in a song’s rhythm, which will occur automatically.
- Music as a form of therapy is often prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s disease and stroke victims. This occurs because music stimulates neurons into organized movement and overlaps speech networks, both of which help patients overcome obstacles with basic motor skills and speech issues.
- The Mozart Effect, the theory that Mozart music increases an infant’s IQ, was proven to be false. In fact, it is learning to play music rather than listening to music that boosts brain power.
We’ll be Bach next year!
Nicole and Sarah