The 5 Purposes of Playing Live

To Learn

Apart from the preparation stages of playing a live show, there are many new things to learn from the experience. An important skill that you unconsciously acquire from playing live is the ability to present yourself in public. This skill is easily transferable to other fields, such as public speaking. You also have the opportunity to learn from your audience, which is now simplified through social media. You can gain a great deal of insight by paying attention to the comments and likes of your fan base. In addition to that, live music may bring you the opportunity to tour, which allows you to gain insight on locations you could otherwise not visit.

To Relate

In this scientific study it’s shown that music impacts brain functions associated with trust, empathy and co-operation. What this proves is that music can play a significant role in strengthening social bonds. This may explain why you feel more connected to the people around you at a music concert. At the very foundation of human desire is the need to relate to one other, and a live concert is a great opportunity to come in to contact with like-minded people. In another study, it’s proven that you’re more likely to engage with someone who has similar musical tastes to your own. It may be for this reason that your relation to others though live music can bring you many new opportunities and open up doors.

To Influence

The lyrics of a song can have a powerful impact on a listeners perception of the world as well as the types of emotions they experience. When you are delivering music to your audience, you have the power to influence them to think in a particular way, value a certain idea or believe that something is either true or false. We can see how inspirational artists of our time have used this understanding to influence others in a positive way. ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen springs to mind, as well as ‘Beautiful Day’ by U2 and ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon. When playing live you also have the opportunity to inspire others to learn music themselves. It’s extremely rewarding to have an audience member tell you they would like to take up guitar lessons after watching you play, or that they’re interested in purchasing the exact same guitar that you’re using.

To Express Emotion

A growing body of research now suggests that by actively expressing emotion we can not only positively impact our emotional health, but our physical health too. By holding back your emotions, you negatively impact your immune system, brain and nervous system, which in turn increases your risk for disease. By expressing emotion you can positively impact your thoughts, values and the way you feel about yourself. Because of social norms and the standards in which we communicate, you can use music to express intense emotions that you would otherwise keep masked. At the forefront of emotional expression is the ability to accurately reveal the true self, which raises levels of self-acceptance and self-insight.

To Help

A recent study found that cyclists who listened to music required 7% less oxygen to do the same amount of work as those who cycled in silence. In addition to that, music has been proven to improve immune functioning, aid memory loss, reduce stress and anxiety and help with pain management. Everybody needs assistance in their everyday encounters, for example a love affair that has ended or just general motivation to get them through their day. Music is the much needed guidance that many people seek for a sense of direction.

Four Ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds
CJ 201 Exam #2

Dean Hailstone

Dean Hailstone

Dean is a professional guitar player, recording artist and touring musician. He has over 20 years of playing experience, and has performed hundreds of live gigs during his career. Read more...


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