The power of art in all forms
A famous lyric from the song ‘Music’ by Madonna but also a resounding truth. There is a chemical and emotion link between music and people. Our brains are wired to process and understand music and by listening and experiencing it makes us feel good.
Many of us know of dopamine, the “feel-good” neurochemical involved when we experience pleasure and reward. It is especially well known when it comes to eating and sleeping, but what is intriguing is that the same chemical is released when we listen to music, it satisfies a desire.
According to research by McGill University in Canada when we anticipate and then actually experience a pleasurable response while listening to music, our brain reacts in distinct and specific ways to release the feel-good dopamine.
The beauty for hospitality is that this can be included in the overall experience for the customer. Whereas eating and sleeping is a tangible reward, music is an abstract reward. So as an example, if a hotel has music paired with quality food and service, then it should create an overall feeling which the guest enjoys and then ideally returns. The relationship of an emotional experience floods the brain with a chemical design to make people feel good.
Music also has a special connection with people. The songs we heard growing up evoke memories and emotions, some of us have been moved by a piece of music, others have experienced life changing live performances.
Everyone is different and music will make us respond according to our taste and familiarity but for all it will make our brains respond. It gives people a universal experience. It has such power to calm and soothe us but also can motivate and give us energy. When used in the right way it can enhance an experience and if that makes someone stay longer or return, then its powerful.
Whether in a restaurant, a lobby, when a guest checks out or an office worker taking their lunch break – music can be used to enhance the experience and make people feel good. If that in turn supports productivity and general wellness, then we need to ensure the sounds match the food, space and service.
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