Groove and Grow: How Jazz Music Enhances the College Experience

Groove and Grow: How Jazz Music Enhances the College Experience

Music can have many different effects. It can be a great motivator and has soothing qualities. Many researchers have studied its effect on the brain. Jazz music is no exception. Its syncopated nature stimulates the brain circuits for creativity. It can also have an effect on health by relieving stress and lowering blood pressure. Here is how jazz music can make the college experience a better one for students.

Relieves stress

Many students at college suffer from anxiety due to stress. They find it difficult to cope with all their responsibilities. They must attend classes, study for exams, write assignments, and still find time for other activities on campus. Too much stress can raise blood pressure and have many other negative effects on health. Jazz music can bring relaxation as it increases the alpha waves in the brain. The brain will adapt to and match the rhythms of the music. It also helps to lower blood pressure by widening the blood vessels.

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Enhances memory and mood

Listening to jazz music can improve memory and mood. Upbeat music lightens the mood and can help students to focus more while studying. Stress has a negative effect on memory. As jazz music helps to lower stress, it can help to increase cognitive recall.

Listening to jazz releases chemicals in the brain that regulate mood.

It releases dopamine and serotonin. These are the neurotransmitters for happiness and well-being.
It reduces levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone.
It can release norepinephrine – the hormone that causes euphoria.
It reduces noradrenaline, another stress-related brain chemical.

Studies show that the level of dopamine released increases when participants show the highest emotional response to music. African Americans in the South would find emotional release from playing blues music. Jazz was an amalgamation of the blues, marching band, and ragtime music. There’s something about the tone and rhythm of jazz that creates a positive mood. This can be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression.

Stimulates creativity

John Hopkins researchers who studied jazz musicians found they would improvise and express themselves freely. They impacted the audience with their spontaneity and creativity. Jazz music can stimulate theta brain waves. This can encourage higher levels of creativity.

College students who have to come up with creative ideas for projects can benefit from the creative juices they stimulate by listening to jazz. Jazz is upbeat and mentally stimulating which can help them to get over their creative blocks. Improvisation is common in jazz and this can be inspiring. It can help students to stimulate the creative sides of their brains.

Encourages critical thinking

The “call and response” that happens in jazz is like a musical conversation. It is mentally demanding for those playing and for listeners. The activity in the music stimulates the neurons in the brain. This could have a positive impact on brain development. It could encourage high-speed interaction with the ideas of others. Critical thinking is a crucial skill for college students. They need to research the ideas of others and evaluate them when they write assignments.

Improves sleep

It may seem strange that jazz can stimulate the brain and relax it. This is due to the different types of brain waves it can produce. The brain mimics the rhythmical patterns which activate delta brain waves. This can lead to better sleep. College students who listen to the right kind of jazz music before they go to bed will feel more relaxed. It will reduce their heart rate and decrease their stress levels. They should find the type of down-tempo jazz they enjoy most as this will probably have the best effect.


Jazz can have a positive influence on the brain and the body. It can make students less stressed and improve their mood. It can enhance memory, stimulate their creativity, improve their critical thinking, and help them to sleep better. There are many online jazz playlist options they can choose from to experience the benefits of listening to jazz.

Author’s Bio

Scott Witter loves to do things differently. And the best thing is he does this without breaking the basic rules of academic writing. He understands what students need so he sticks to the norms but at the same time, he brings in a newness in the core content of his papers. This benefits students in many ways – gaining new perspectives and getting fresh ideas for their work.

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