The Science of Team Bonding with Music

In a recent airing of Catalyst, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) featured a segment entitled ‘Music On The Brain’ focusing on the effectiveness of music in the treatment of brain injuries and neurological diseases as well as in the ability to strengthen social bonds.

In much the same way SongDivision uses music to form relationships and unite individuals around common beliefs, the program details music’s power to form strong social bonds and help us to retain and recall memories. These are the qualities that make music an ideal team building, communication, and educational tool.

‘Music on the Brain’ ventures into the realm of human evolution and the critical role music has played in enabling humans to form relationships throughout time. The secret is in its ability to release Oxytocin, the hormone in our bodies that creates emotional bonds. Several studies have confirmed this phenomenon, including a 2014 German study which found that singing with others releases twice the amount of Oxytocin than everyday interaction.

According to Professor Robin Dunbar, Evolutionary Psychologist at Oxford University, “Music is fundamental to our ability to hold together large communities of individuals. Our pre-human ancestors bonded with their groups by grooming each other, which released endorphins and oxytocin, hormonally cementing social bonds. But there are only so many monkeys you can groom in a day. To reach the large group sizes that made humanity so successful, we needed to evolve something bigger and better. Something that would create oxytocin on a mass scale.” Enter music as a way of expressing emotions, thereby increasing Oxytocin levels and enabling us to form social bonds.

Furthermore, music is strongly linked to memory. This happens because 1) music is a ‘super-stimulus,’ arousing almost every area of the brain, and 2) music is emotional, capable of evoking our feelings. These ’emotional memories’ then form permanent records in our brains. This is why we instantly recall memories the moment we hear certain songs. Take a look at this fascinating program and connect with us to discuss the use of music to unite your teams.

 

 

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