Listening to music as an exceedingly complex process. It involves translating sound waves into a meaningful pattern and recognizing and responding to the emotional content. (Greenfield, Susan, con. Ed. Brain Power, Working out the Human Mind. p 61. Great Britain: Element books Limited, 1999.)
Most people become expert listeners by the age of six, as they have internalized the grammar of their musical culture into mental schemas that enable them to form musical expectations. Musical expectations form the basis of one’s ability to enjoy and appreciate music. (Sternberg, Barbara, PhD. Music & the Brain. p 20-21. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Home-Study #2320, 2009).
PET Scan studies: More right hemisphere activity when an untrained individual listens to music; more left hemisphere activity when a trained musician listens. (Bricklin, Mark, et al. Positive Living and Health. p 50-51. PA: Rodale Press, 1990.)
Extraverts are more likely to want to listen to music while studying than introverts. (Howard, Pierce J., PhD. The Owner’s Manual for the Brain. p 179-185, 489. GA: Bard Press, 1994, 2000.)
Music is a highly organized series of sounds composed of melody and rhythm that the ear and brain analyze. Singing (which is self-listening) or hearing music played can help children learn how to listen. (Tomatis, Alfred A, M.D., Edited by Timothy M. Gilmore, PhD, et al. About the Tomatis Method. p 70-71. Toronto, Canada: The Listening Centre Press, 1989.)
Even when just listening to music, professional musicians activate more neurons than nonmusicians. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. p 37-38. NY: Harmony Books, 2001.)
Dominant view of current scientific thinking and contemporary philosophy: the totality of human thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and experiences (including listening) are contained in patterns of electrochemical activity in the brain. (Sternberg, Barbara, PhD. Music & the Brain. p 10-11. CA: Institute for Natural Resources, Home-Study #2320, 2009).