Can Music Change Your Brain?

Kira Griffith takes on the question through her research.

Does pop music make you happier? Do you study better when Beethoven is playing?  Run faster with a workout mix in your ear?

Kira Griffith (UNC ’21), has a hypothesis that music can change your brain. Through her research in Carolina’s Psychology and Neuroscience Department, she’s investigating how art and science combine to help people heal and give inspiration to those who need it.

What’s your earliest memory of music?

I grew up in St. Croix, and music has always been a big part of my life. My mother used to sing in a gospel choir, my father plays the steel pans (a Caribbean instrument), and my siblings and I play piano.

How has your concept of music evolved?

In high school, I became interested in how to tie my love for music to my passion for scientific discovery.

If your life had a soundtrack, who would be singing?

Agent Sasco. My father introduced me to his reggae song “Stronger” last year. The song is about growth and having an appreciation for how people, both now and in the past, have supported and empowered me to be the best that I can be.

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