The effect of music on our brain activity
One of the things that we hear from our piano students that is very common is that when they get familiarised with the pieces they play, time seems to disappear, and as a general experience, people lose track of time. Of course, as musicians and piano teachers, we are quite acquainted with that feeling as we have been playing music for years. Still, it is fantastic how piano beginners dazzle with that experience.
Science is catching up with lots of things that people take for granted, finding the explanation of why and how this happens.
It is known that many neurologists have researched the brain of many musicians in the past and know they want to find out what exactly the music does for us; which positive aspects enrich our lives, and what they found out is everything is connected to our brainwaves: the more we know a piece of music the fewer alpha waves the brain produces. Alpha waves are the ones that appear whenever we feel aware of our surroundings; it can be called the “awareness” or, better said when we are conscious of where we are, what are we doing, etc. Other brain waves start to appear in the scans that are more related to relaxed and lower brain waves, more connected to mediation or states between sleep and being fully awake.
So, in essence, when we are doing something we like, and we master, it is in a sort of half-dream state, and that is precisely when the brain “loses track of time” and time stops to be one moment to another, we stop counting the second and the quality of time begins to change, being fully present; This is why so many people choose to play and instrument and connects the experience with meditation.