Why should you see a live concert this summer? It's good for your health
Benefits rival a trip to the gym, according to music expert
Live music isn't hard to find in B.C. each summer and a University of Victoria researcher says attending a concert offers more than good tunes, it can boost your health, too.
"It's similar to a sporting event," music professor Adam Con told host Gregor Craigie on CBC's On the Island. "When you go to a sporting event everybody is roaring in the crowd and everybody is having a great time."
"It's a social experience and we're social beings — and I think being with other people is really important," he added.
Research suggests music can have significant emotional and cognitive benefits for listeners. Con says the experience can be even more memorable when you hear it as part of a large crowd.
"We know all the added cognitive benefits [music has] on your brain — it's just basically a symphony of fireworks when you listen to it," he said. "But when you listen to it live, we've already shown that the brainwaves of everybody start to synchronize."
Concert-goers tend to experience feelings of euphoria in unison while attending a live show. Con says it enables strangers to bond with one another with feelings of togetherness.
The beauty of imperfection
On top of cultivating a shared social experience, Con says going to a live concert helps audience members connect with artists onstage and hear their music in a different way.
"When we're hearing live performances, we don't hear the equalized performance that we would hear on a recording — so therefore the loud [parts] are really loud, the soft [parts] are really soft," he said. "There's some things we don't hear, the pitch isn't quite accurate and that makes for a human experience."
Hearing the 'imperfections' can help us come to terms with 'what it means to be human', Con says.
"The experience leaves you more fulfilled as a human being, and I think that's the reason why it's more important for generations — for parents, for grandparents — to take their children to concerts," he said. "Kids are getting music education [in school], but they can't get enough of it to enhance their experience in life."
With files from CBC's On the Island