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Road Trip Music – The Awakening

We have all heard the term “Road Trip”. It generally means hours on the road with your mates with food and stories, and of course music. In fact, when you’re on your own, music can be great company. This made us here at Jamhouse wonder: what difference can music make on a road trip?

The first thought we had was that music keeps you awake while you are driving; or at least that is the theory. The sleep foundation says that there is no scientific proof that music keeps you awake while driving, and the only true way to keep awake is to make regular stops and take regular naps. While music and winding the window down seem to make you feel more awake, research seems to indicate that they make little difference.

However, there may in fact be some scientific research that is contrary to that belief. The key to staying awake is said to be brain activity, and Time Magazine Published an article in April of 2013 that states that the brain in fact craves music for emotional activity. Music therapy has made a huge impact on the treatment of patients with mental difficulties or problems.   Dementia patients can sing along to songs long after they stop remembering everyday things; music helps people work through emotions, and seemingly awakens dormant parts of the brain that are otherwise inactive.

Not only that, but music can physically change the brain waves that cause stress and effectively redirect them, as well as changing the rate of breathing, and the heartrate. http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/a/music_therapy.htm

So why then, would the right type of music not be able to keep you awake and stimulated during a long drive? The style or genre of music is something that we are sure will be debated for years to come. As Sciencemag says in their article about why brains love music, "Music is one of those oddball things, it’s not at all clear that it has any sort of survival value." (http://news.sciencemag.org/2013/04/why-your-brain-loves-new-song)  And as much study has been done, researchers still do not fully understand Is it the beat, the rhythm, the lyrics? Or is it different for each individual, and what specifically stimulates each person based on their taste in music over their lifetime?  

Food for thought.

Author:  D. Whelan for Jamhouse Creative
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