Music can change you

These days we hear music all the time, it wakes us up, motivates our workouts, keeps us company on our commutes. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, it itself has the ability to affect our moods and our bodies in all sorts of ways. It can give us chills even can make us cry.

Effects on Brain

Music activates every area of the brain that scientists have mapped so far. In fact, there is no area of the brain that music doesn’t touching some ways.

25 years ago there was an idea which said that language is in left side of the brain and music is in right side of the brain but now with better quality tools, higher resolution, neuroimaging and better experimental methods, it is discovered that thats not at all right so how does it effects our brain?

When music enters and then gets shuttled off to different parts of the brain:-

  1. It stops at specialise processing units in auditory cortex, they track loudness, pitch, rhythm, etc.
  2. The visual cortex activates when you’re reading notes as a musician or watching music.
  3. Motor cortex activates when you move or dance or tap your feet, snap fingers, clapping your hands.
  4. The Cerebellum activates and immediate the emotional responses.
  5. The memory system in the Hippocampus will activate and will help you to recognise any familiar music or lines that you listen

Hence, music is going on in both halves of the brain, left and right, the front, back, the inside, and the outside.

How playing Instruments helps?

We can start learning to play instrument at any age. Picking up an instrument can provide some huge benefits for Intelligence, Physical well-being, Brain.

Playing an instrument requires:-

  • Auditory motor
  • Sensory
  • Visual system to work together

This inner system cooperation has some incredible outcomes that can affect many areas of life.

Different intensities of training produce different outcomes, even the most minimal practice can make a difference. Starting to play an instrument just one hour a week for few months can cause growth and increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, hearing, and motor. Researchers have found that this kind of activities can even increase IQ by 7 point or more.

Its also known that people who play musical instrument are better at other practical things too such as:-

  • Practical emotions
  • Learning new things/tasks
  • Creative problem solving

Musicians brain have better communication between left and right hemisphere which allows for more cooperation and out of the box thinking. Playing an instrument can also has benefits for brain and body.

  • boosting immune system function
  • Increase in resilience to hearing lose
  • Helps stroke patients regain motor skills

It’s been found that just listening to music can prompt the repair and regeneration of damage nerves in the brain.

Music is so much more than notes on a page, it can change the way we think, speak and feel. Music making and listen is really complex it’s not demystified till now it’s more mysterious than ever.

Why is Music important to our Soul?

The sages loved their music. It gave them the same spiritual boost as the sun did. Music made them laugh, it made them dance and it made them sing. It will do the same for you. Never forget the power of music. Spend a little time with it every day, even if it is listening to a soft piece on a cassette while you drive to work. When you feel down or weary, play some music. It is one of the finest motivators I know of.

ROBIN SHARMA, Author of ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’

The above words are found in the Internationally famous book ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’. These words endow us with a message of how important it is to always remember the power of music and even on our busiest day we must not forget to listen to it.

Every person has their taste in music, some like Soft and Sufi songs while others may enjoy listening to Jazz and Trance. Whatever their taste may be the function of music in everybody’s life is the same; Relieve the person of his daily-life tensity. Music is one of the greatest forms of art derived from Nature. Let us know why is Music so much important in our day-to-day life.

MUSIC: A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE:

We all have heard this at one or the other time in our life. But what does it exactly mean? Let’s understand this with a simple example. Some songs like Despacito or Bella Ciao, in that case, are not understood by everyone but every other person enjoys these songs without even being able to sing them correctly. These songs bring people together. Similarly, the language of music is universal. It doesn’t matter from which corner of the world a person belongs, you can communicate with them easily through the language of Music. This is the only language which even if not understood but is enjoyed by all.

MUSIC AS A CREATIVE FUEL TO THE MIND:

As a form of art, music brings out the creativity of a person. Listening to instrumental music challenges one to listen and tell a story about what one hears. In the same sense, playing a musical instrument gives you the ability to tell the story without words. Both require maximum right brain usage which not only exercises one’s creativity but also one’s intellect. This is also one of the reasons why people turn to music whenever they feel worn out or out of ideas to recollect their minds.

MUSIC HAS SPIRITUAL POWERS:

Many theories are suggesting the presence of Music dating back even before the existence of mankind. Music is believed to be derived from nature and one of the most common uses is found at religious and sacred events. Many civilizations mark their triumph at war and the cremation of influential figures with Music. Some people believe Music to be a key to God leading to the holy path, this also signifies the presence of prayers at religious places.

AN EMOTIONAL HEALER- MUSIC:

Many studies have shown the connection between the human mind and the type of music a person listens to. There are times in every person’s life when he turns to music for achieving an emotional balance. This is because music stimulates the release of happiness hormone in our brain. It reduces the stress of a person and makes the person dance to its beat. Thus Music is known as one of the best therapies for dealing with emotions. So next time when you feel low; put on the headphones-play a song-turn the volume up-exit from reality.

MUSIC BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER:

Let’s first see the following video:

As we saw in the video that every person enjoys himself on the tune of the music. This is the reason music is seen as the key ingredient to bring people together.

When Music is so much important then why are we still not ready with our headphones? Let’s Go and enjoy our day listening to our favorite music.

5 INDIAN MYTHOLOGICAL FICTIONS ONE MUST READ

India has a very rich and diverse cultural heritage. If you study India’s history, you will see the lavish lifestyle of the people back in the days. But it is not limited to recent few centuries only. This richness goes way back to the times of gods and goddesses. All this is recorded in the books of literature of the Indian heritage. 

India also has a wide range of books and scriptures one can read if they are into Indian mythological genre or simply mythological genre.

It is a country famous for its wars and folklores and hundreds of things that make Indian history quite an interesting subject. Most of us have grown up listening to these stories by our grandparents. 

Some of the authors have revamped these stories in their creative imagination. Some characters are taken from the most famous stories of Indian history and represent a different aspect of those stories. These have been widely appreciated and loved. Here’s a list of top 5 Indian Mythological fictions one must read at least once:

  1. The Pandavas series by Roshan Chokshi:

An amazing book for the youngsters that tells the story of a young 12-year-old girl named Aru Shah. Her family runs the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in America. Things turn around for Aru when her friends force her to rub an ancient lamp which releases a sleeping demon. Next thing you see is Aru on an unexpected adventure to set thighs straight by finding the reincarnations of the Pandavas and her journey through the kingdom of death. The series has not yet been completed. But is humorous and full of adventure. The author subtlety and cleverly connects the ancient world to the modern world. 

  1. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni:

You might have heard the epic of Mahabharata many times. But have you heard it from the perspective of the one major cause behind the war, Draupadi? The Palace of Illusions tells this epic from the perspective of Draupadi, her feelings, how she struggled to find a loving home all her life and how she felt when she might have felt when she was gambled away in a game of chess by her five husbands. The book sums the story in 360 pages and tells her side of the story.

  1. Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi:

One of the most beloved books of people, the Shiva trilogy is a must on this list. Amish Tripathi is known for his storytelling and lucid writing. He intertwines the story of Lord Shiva with a fictional background. He beautifully narrates how a common man because of deeds and karma become a God for people. The first part is The Immortals of Meluha, the second The Secret of  Nagas and the third is The Oath of Vayuputras. This is a must-read for all the Shiva as well as mythological lovers. 

  1. The Ramchandra series by Amis Tripathi:

Another brilliantly written series by the author Amish Tripathi is his second expression into the world of mythic-fiction. Like his previous work, The Shiva Trilogy, The Ramchandra series is also a bestseller. This time Amish explores the epic of Ramayana, each book from the perspective of the three main characters the epic revolved around. The series consists of two books Scion of Ikshavaku and Sita: Warrior of Mithila. This series is much better than the Shiva Trilogy in terms of storytelling and plot. The first part, i.e., Scion of Ikshavaku is from the perspective of Lord Ram, the second part, Sita: Warrior of Mithila is from the perspective of Sita, Lord Ram’s wife. Now the third book of the series is awaited which will be from the perspective of Ravana. 

  1. Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan:

Anand Neelakantan is famous for his books on the two most famous epics of Indian history, Mahabharata and Ramayana. The story follows the original storyline of the original Ramayana but what is different about this book is that it tells you the story from the perspective of Ravana. It gives you the story of the other side, the side which is never told while telling the Ramayana. It is a fresh approach towards the epic of Ramayana and is a page-turner.

There are several other books which are worth giving a read. The list could go on and on. These Indian authors have brought a different perspective of the stories we have heard like a hundred times before.

These books are worth your time. After all who wouldn’t love to divide into the royal, fantasy land even if you only get to experience it through a book and your imagination.

The Psychological Connection to Hobbies

Most of us have had a childhood interest or a hobby which was our favourite pastime. With not much to do all day, we would spend our time engaging in different unique and creative activities. Not only saving us from boredom, these hobbies have provided us with lot of benefits and shaped us into becoming what we are today.

Almost everyone had a favourite pastime activity which would keep us busy in our childhood. Starting from painting, doodling to collecting stamps, pebbles, train tickets and what not. When asked about their hobbies many people were found to narrate happy tales of their childhood. In today’s busy world where it is difficult to even take a day off from work, we tend to lose touch with our creative sides. Thinking about our childhood days makes us realise how long it had been since these hobbies were a part of our lives. Sports, music, crafts have all been pushed aside in adulthood by our busy schedules and responsibilities. In the midst of all these we have not realised how important these had been in shaping us and how amazing it would be to revisit these days by going back to those hobbies.

As children we had many different ways to spend our times. Some of us were into painting and crafts, some were into musical instruments, while some had the interesting habit of collecting stuffs. All these hobbies seem simple but studies show that there is a lot more to it.

There’s a lot of factual information about the importance of art in a child’s development. Researches show that individuals who have been into art and crafts in their childhood are found to be more expressive and have better communication skills. Experimenting with art makes children open to broader ideas and help them handle unexpected situations with ease.

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Collecting is believed to be a psychological impulse. Collection is a historical practice and it ranges from stamps, books, tickets, coins to leaves and pebbles. People maintain the habit of collecting due to various reasons. Some collect due to an interest in the things that the collections represent, while others view collection as a pleasurable form of owning something. The different aspects attached with it makes the psychology behind it so interesting. It has been known that individuals who had the habit of collecting grow up to be careerist individuals in future. As the saying goes “An individual’s childhood is reflection of their life”. Collectors are also known to make better social connections and more friendships.

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Individuals engaging with music from a very young age tend to enjoy musical instruments. Engaging with music makes us happy and lifts our spirits. Studies show that music improve our brain functions and it keeps the brain active. It has also been known that music helps in retaining information and develops memory. Children who have had such hobbies grow up to be smart individuals.

Google had encouraged its employees to devote 20 percent of their time to side projects of their interest. It was a very innovative decision on the part of the company and it yielded amazing results. It has been known that following this, employees have performed more productively in their work and have achieved more. There are innumerable ways in which hobbies help in one’s overall growth and development. Most of us have lost touch with these but we can surely try and revive those habits. In fact, discovering childhood hobbies can make our lives better and make us happier. It feels amazing to revive those countless memories we have with an instrument or a habit. This will also help us become more productive in our work. Investing one’s time in areas of interest alongside their career can yield incredible results and, in the process, will make us better individuals with a more holistic outlook towards life.

Thinking through Act

“Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”

Acting is basically an art of imitation or reflection or representation. It is the quality of utilizing your own spirit body and mind in being someone else. Actors on the stage do not show themselves up there, but they show the character they get into to people.”  Acting is equivalent to forgetting the original self.

actor-on-stage

Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.

Benefits of acting

There are many benefits of acting :

  1.  It is a self-cleansing art.
  2. It helps us to forget ourselves, our worries, or goals, our life pressure, etc for the same time.
  3. It helps us to “be present”. Through acting, we enjoy “the moment”. We are at “the moment”.
  4. It helps us to understand the small little worlds as well as the big worlds of various people around us.
  5. Every act gives us a different perception that adds to build our character.

Methods of acting

  1. Stanislavski/Strasberg/Method: It uses affective memory considering our past. We need to relate to our past events. It draws situations from real life and there is an “emotional recall” as we get in touch with your emotional self.
  2. Meisner Method: It is the method based on the usage of imagination only. We need to enforce us to ask questions to ourselves. We ask the questions “what if”. We need time to contemplate under what situation will I be like this and considers the hypothetical future.

Voice Acting

Our emotions come out of our voices. Talking to a person over a voice call, we can immediately interpret if he is happy, sad, angry, guilty, lonely, or anything else. The Voice of a person gives a strong sense of the feelings of a person. Therefore, in addition to bringing the character by our body movements, we also need to bring out the character through our voice. Indeed, the voice acting is so powerful that it has opened up a separate domain for artists. Voice acting by podcasts are becoming popular day by day. It is easy to access and very interesting helping listeners to create a world of their own by listening to the voice artists. In addition, in these difficult times of pandemic, where shooting is difficult due to the rules of social distancing, podcasts are the way for artists.

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Irrespective of the form of acting, the main trick is to make your character your best friend. We need to study up on character traits; read testimonials, interviews, or watch videos. Then, we need to try to bring the traits through voice. Traits, in general, depending on age, geographical location, any distinct characteristic, or disability. There is a need to develops a culture of responsive acting. It is also important to tackles self-consciousness. It is an effective way of creating the world around us. An actor is an energy bank, always excited about his character and his story.

“Acting is a sport. On stage you must be ready to move like a tennis player on his toes. Your concentration must be keen, your reflexes sharp; your body and mind are in top gear, the chase is on. Acting is energy. In the theatre people pay to see energy.”

Indian Education System

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India produces more engineers than the total population of Switzerland, even after that Switzerland is number one when it comes to research and innovation. Since our independence, India has not produced a Nobel laureate in science, whereas the USA has produced a hundred plus. According to the National Employability Report of 2019, 80% of the engineers in India are unemployable. And if we want to look for the root cause of this problem then we have to go back to the time Britishers were ruling us and The East India Company was facing 2 major challenges- 1. Communication with Indians. 2. They needed more workers; then Thomas Babington Macaulay gave us the “English Education Act of 1835”. It fulfilled both their purposes- of finding people who would sit behind desks and work for them without asking questions, and the other was communication in English. English is not a widely spoken language, even then it has become an attribute that defines your education. Russia, China, France, and many other countries are not as obsessed with English as we are. In India, a person is said to have “Poor Communication Skills” if his/her English is not good.
Even a 2-3 years old iOS is considered outdated but a system which is as important as our education system is almost 185 years old, with just minor changes here and there. Our education system is a rat race, churning out robots who are proficient only in mugging up. A simple example of the incompetence of the system is that even after scoring 95 out of 100 in a Sanskrit exam a person is unable to speak the language. Instead of having a precise basic history syllabus, the students are made to learn a wide syllabus which is mostly just mugging up date(that could easily be looked up on the Internet now). Every class has English as a compulsory subject, but even after being taught English for 12 years most of the people are not able to speak the language properly, even a 5-year-old kid learns his/her mother tongue without cramming books. The techniques used in kindergarten to teach kids is better than the “fill out the sheets” technique to score marks taught in colleges. Everyone is taught the same subjects, the same syllabus regardless of the person’s capabilities, caliber, or creativity. Even Dronacharya taught his pupils according to their capabilities and specialties he did not force everyone to learn the same thing.
We do not have many options, to begin with. We have Science stream on top, then comes Commerce and then comes the least dignified stream Humanities or Arts. Every parent wants their child to be either a doctor or an engineer. Your training begins early, you are taught from an early age that marks matter the most if you don’t get good marks you won’t get a good job and you’ll end up being a failure. Just think about the person whom you admire and who’s success story inspires you, be it anyone I am sure that they succeeded because they didn’t get trapped into this education system. If you ask the CEO of any company to appear for an interview in all the departments of his firm, there is no chance that he would succeed in all of them and there is a high chance that he won’t be qualified educationally enough to even appear for half of the posts.
We spend 25% of our lives getting educated to work for someone who is most probably less educationally qualified than them. If the education system of India is so good then why do the kids of elites, politicians, actors, etc. go abroad to complete their education? Graduates and post-graduates are preparing for 5-6 years just to get a government job, just because a government job provides security. We look for a job with security because we don’t have confidence in our skills that we are capable of landing a job where we will stay purely based on our skills and creativity.

With the rapid growth in technology, I believe that we will reach a point, within not more than 5 years, where technology will make what we teach in schools irrelevant. Jobs in Digital Marketing, SEO, Cloud Computing, etc. didn’t even exist a few years back. We need to be open towards change, towards learning new things, towards being creative.

Is Technology Limiting Creativity

The term imagination is a hard word to describe. It can have a range of meanings, but creativity refers in its sense to the act of creating something original, creative or special through the use of thought. Creative thinking is often seen as the opposite of functions or disciplines requiring logic or being constrained by facts. Of course this is not necessarily true. But creative fields are widely believed to require creativity, while scientific fields do not. People often think that creativity is a chaotic, unforeseen, man-made phenomenon, while scientific research, math and machinery are bound by a set of substantive rules.

This has led to people sharing the paranoia that increasing society’s reliance on technology will limit creative thinking. When the question is presented, ‘Technology is limiting creativity,’ many people agree – yes, it is. In a recent report, Is Technology Killing Creativity, the author asserts that the point of the argument is often that we sacrifice original thinking to keep oneself constantly captivated.  Then the writer goes on to say, if we can find anything online anywhere, we don’t give ourselves opportunity to solve problems and invent on our own.

Technology Enhances Creativity - Lauren Cho - Medium

Although it’s undeniably true that most people use smartphones and the Internet to flood their lives with idle time, the other side of an argument, though, is that technology actually redefines innovation. Of course, the concern is that adolescents have replaced conventionally imaginative hobbies such as painting, creating, and playing with passive computer behaviours such as gaming. Yet, given the fact that contemporary children do have higher media consumption levels than any previous generation, it is not necessarily true that imagination is lacking in their computer activities. Many kids use the internet to write blogs, create websites or dabbling in coding.

The emergence of technology and smartphones in particular has led to many specific recommendations that our dependency on these tools is killing creativity. This is not a new thought-people suggested that technology had long ago extinguished creative impulses. This was television and video games when I was a kid that were to bring down imaginations everywhere.

What’s the deal, then? Back in 1932, Aldous Huxley wrote Brave New World, where he proposed a future in which living beings sat a constant desire for technological distraction. Thought could be kept at bay, because by trying to distract ourselves with our electronic gadgets we would simply zap any boredom. Often this is the crux of the argument – that we’re sacrificing original thinking to keep ourselves constantly captivated. It’s also argued that if we can find everything online somewhere, then we don’t give ourselves room to solve the problems and foster an innovative solution on our own.

Scientific research tells us that daydreaming requires time, as daydreaming enhances our imagination. When we fill some downtime with scrolling through screens, is the daydream time being inhibited? Creativity is often called a discipline of “use it or lose it.” You may be employed in a creative job position, but you can also strangle your creativity by being constantly fastened to a computer.

Technology has broadened the limits of what is possible with artistic practices like animation, music and graphic design. This has given creativity more definition, possibly even enabling more participants to join in. Taking a look at YouTube videos or even content present on Instagram-these are open platforms that allow everyone to participate and develop content.

Take the example like CGI in movies or platforms created to make graphic design more available for practitioners, the online outlets to promote the content. The openness extends the spectrum of artistic activities. On the Internet, only those considered by “experts” to possess artistic talent would have been revealed to the public. The curtain is lifted with the internet, and more people are noticed online every day. Artists like Bach and Van Gogh were not known in their own lives, though they would be well known if they were alive today.

Conclusion:

You can have a fair discussion free for both sides to disagree, but where does that leave us? Technology is here to stay and just continues to advance, and maybe one of the more rational reasons is for a healthy use of technology and knowledge, just like how we interpret our diets. There is the idea that our ancient ancestors benefitted from having as much information as possible – it would have been important for survival to know anything about their environment. The challenge now is that our brains need to be conditioned in an age of information overload to minimize the excess and just filter what is needed. It ties in with what we think the right climate requires to be nurtured