Music and the Environment

Music Psychologists and Researchers conduct studies to determine the relationship of Music and the Environment. Many studies have suggested that there is an undeniable connection between the two.

Discovering how one affects the other may be a breakthrough in understanding, improving and creating an atmosphere that would be beneficial to many communities.

Albert Bandura believed in RECIPROCAL DETERMINISM, that is the world and a person’s behavior cause each other, while behaviorism essentially states that one’s environment causes one’s behavior, Bandura, who was studying adolescent aggression, found this too simplistic, and so in addition he suggested that the behavior causes the environment as well. Later, Bandura soon considered personality as an interaction between three components: the environment, behavior, and one’s psychological processes.

Historically, there have been differences in the musical instruments played by boys and girls, with girls preferring smaller, higher-pitched instruments. A study collected data from the 150 Music Services in England as part of a larger survey. Some provided data regarding the sex of pupils playing each instrument directly.

In other cases, the pupils’ names and instruments were matched with data in the national Common Basic Data Set to establish gender. The findings showed distinctive patterns for different instruments. Girls predominated in harp, flute, voice, fife/piccolo, clarinet, oboe and violin, and boys in electric guitar, bass guitar, tuba, kit drums, tabla and trombone. The least gendered instruments were African drums, cornet, French horn, saxophone and tenor horn.

The gendered pattern of learning was relatively consistent across education phases, with a few exceptions. A model was developed that sets out the various influences that may explain the continuation of historical trends in instrument choice given the increased gender equality in UK society.

Another research study reviews the empirical evidence relating to the effects of active engagement with music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people. It draws on research using the most advanced technologies to study the brain, in addition to quantitative and qualitative psychological and educational studies. It explains how musical skills may transfer to other activities if the processes involved are similar. It explores the evidence relating to the impact of musical skills on language development, literacy, numeracy, measures of intelligence, general attainment, creativity, fine motor co-ordination, concentration, self-confidence, emotional sensitivity, social skills, team work, self-discipline, and relaxation. It suggests that the positive effects of engagement with music on personal and social development only occur if it is an enjoyable and rewarding experience. This has implications for the quality of the teaching.

As Music Psychologists and Neuroscientists conduct further studies on Music and the Environment, there is great development and potential in using both music and environment to affect individuals in many aspects such as intellectually, spiritually, psychologically and physically.