Music, Maestro, Please!
OK, today we’re going to talk about something near and dear to my heart.
No. Not my ribcage, Captain Literal.
I’ve been a singer for most of my life, starting with the children’s choir at St. Williams church in Price Hill in, about, 1967. I’ve done it for a hobby since then, did it for a living for a long time, and loved it always. Good music fills my soul. Bad music makes me want to hurt someone. Who determines good & bad?
Me, of course.
My ears, my brain, my taste, my choice.
But, did you know that music can actually be beneficial to your health? Yup. It’s science, people.
How so, Bob? Well I’m glad you asked. Let’s discuss a few benefits which music provides;
Improves mood. Duh. of course. But actual scientific studies show that listening to music can benefit overall well-being, help regulate emotions, and create happiness and relaxation in everyday life. The cerebellum processes rhythm and the frontal lobes interpret the emotional content of music. And music that’s powerful enough to be “spine-tingling” can light up the brain’s “reward center,” much like pleasurable stimuli ranging from alcohol to chocolate. An authoritative review of research performed between 1994 and 1999 reported that in four trials, music therapy reduced symptoms of depression.
Reduces stress. Listening to ‘relaxing’ music (generally considered to have slow tempo, low pitch, and no lyrics) has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in healthy people and in people undergoing medical procedures like surgery, dental work or colonoscopy , though it better be some damn relaxing music to help with that.
Improves exercise. Studies suggest that music can enhance aerobic exercise, boost mental and physical stimulation, and increase overall performance. Absolutely. When I put together a music mix for classes, I’m mixing music that I like. If you do too, great! If not, don’t come to my class. Sometimes it’s all about me, people
Improves memory. Research has shown that the repetitive elements of rhythm and melody help our brains form patterns that enhance memory. In a study of stroke survivors, listening to music helped them experience more verbal memory, less confusion, and better focused attention.
Eases pain. In studies of patients recovering from surgery, those who listened to music before, during, or after surgery had less pain and more overall satisfaction compared with patients who did not listen to music as part of their care.
Provides comfort. Music therapy has also been used to help enhance communication, coping, and expression of feelings such as fear, loneliness, and anger in patients who have a serious illness, and who are in end-of-life care.
Improves cognition. Listening to music can also help people with Alzheimer’s recall seemingly lost memories and even help maintain some mental abilities. The most highly publicized mental influence of music is the “Mozart effect.” Struck by the observation that many musicians have unusual mathematical ability, researchers at the University of California, Irvine, investigated how listening to music affects cognitive function in general. In their first study, they administered standard IQ test questions to three groups of college students, comparing those who had spent 10 minutes listening to a Mozart piano sonata with a group that had been listening to a relaxation tape and one that had been waiting in silence. Mozart was the winner, consistently boosting test scores.
Helps children with autism spectrum disorder. Studies of children with autism spectrum disorder who received music therapy showed improvement in social responses, communication skills, and attention skills.
Soothes premature babies. Live music and lullabies may impact vital signs, improve feeding behaviors and sucking patterns in premature infants, and may increase prolonged periods of quiet–alert states.
So whatever music turns you on , turn it up! It may piss off your neighbors, but that’s a small price to pay for wellness, right?
Music, Maestro, Please!