Music is a universal language. Music therapy can help us through moments in our lives that are trying and challenging. It helps us move past the difficulties to a place of comfort, security, and healing. With music, we can express ourselves, find comfort, relax, or feel better. It can inspire and uplift, soothes and relaxes, and can even make you feel better when you are feeling sad. It can also help you express yourself creatively through singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or just listening. Music is important. From the oldest musical instrument on earth to the music of our bodies, music is one of the earliest forms of human expression. The origin and evolution of music have been a subject of interest for thousands of years, with a smaller but focused group of science researchers trying to understand why we do what we do when we listen to music. It turns out our ancestors began making music some 40,000 years ago and it continues to have a deep impact on us today. From the evolution of human language and communication to our ability to create harmony through music, listen up and discover why listening to music sounds so good.
Impact Of Music On Life
A recent systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the impact of music interventions on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). They found that listening to music, singing, and music therapy can create significant improvements in mental health, along with smaller improvements in physical health-related quality of life. While the researchers found positive impacts on the psychological quality of life, they did not see one best intervention or “dose” that worked best for all people. The study showed that listening to music, singing, and music therapy is an effective treatments for mental health.
How Music Connects Us?
Music has the power to create feelings of social connectedness, and dependence on music and to support people with different moods and personalities. In addition to its communicative function, music provides critical and complementary benefits for brain development. Researchers think one of the most important functions of music is to create a feeling of cohesion or social connectedness. It is said that listening to music and singing enhances the development of auditory processing skills, which are central to language comprehension. Listening and singing also increase cognitive abilities by improving attention and understanding. Here are some ways how we can connect to music altogether or how music connects us:
- At sporting events, people relate to the music of national anthems giving it a feeling of unity.
- By playing protest songs, it can stir a sense of shared purpose during marches
- During prayers, hymns build group identity in houses of worship
- As in terms of courtships, love songs help prospective partners bond
- At the night, lullabies enable parents and infants to develop secure attachments
Complexities Of Music
Music is a simple yet extremely powerful thing. It can be our greatest source of self-empowerment, joy, and healing from the most severe of illnesses. A board-certified music therapist is a practice leader in the field of music therapy. They have completed a rigorous training process that enables them to help individuals of all ages and abilities using music to improve their health, quality of life, and well-being. A board-certified music therapist can help you build that connection to music, and find the best intervention and “dose” that could positively impact your health and provide a form of healing. If a board-certified music therapist can help you achieve the best outcome from music therapy, sometimes which can be as simple as listening to your favorite song and enjoying the journey.
There are various complexities that a person faces in a full day, but they can be cured or smoothened by music, for instance:
- A person can ease the pattern of sleeping by listening to a soothing playlist at any point in their time.
- With the help of music, one can find motivation for exercise if the person is not in the mood to work out, he or she can listen to upbeat dance music to lighten up the mood.
- Self-expression which occurs through emotions can be aided by a person by singing.
- Even a person can feel connected to others by attending a live musical performance.
Music As Therapeutic Tool
Music therapy is a relaxed, informal session between a patient and their music therapist who has completed an accredited undergraduate or graduate music therapy program. It happens between a patient (and their caregivers and/or family) and the therapist at the client’s convenience. Music therapists use evidence-based music interventions to address therapeutic health care goals. Music therapy takes place between patients and their therapists, who usually have completed an accredited music therapy program. Through a process of dialog and shared decision-making, both patient and therapist can address health goals in ways that are most effective for individual needs.
Music therapy uses music and movement to strengthen connections among friends, family members, and patients. Music therapist creates goals for other health professionals, such as physical therapists, social workers, and nurses, as well as self-care groups. Music therapy helps people with a range of health concerns overcome their symptoms and enhance daily functioning. It is also a great way to relieve stress and tension and promote relaxation.
Relax, find motivation, and increase your quality of life with music. A music therapist can help you discover what works best for you. Music can be a powerful tool for improving quality of life. It can help reduce anxiety, shift your mood, and decrease pain perception during cancer treatment or other medical procedures. Music therapy can also increase expression and motivation, so it can help you discover new ways to be more open and reach your full potential.
Music Therapy Tools
There are various tools that can help as music therapy tools. Some of them are:
- Listening: Listen to music to help you quiet the mind, increase focus, and have a better mood. This can be done on your own or through music therapy. It can be live or recorded, listening with intentional focus or as background listening. The music can be played at a low volume, so you do not have to strain your ears while it is playing. You can choose positive mood uplifting music, scales, or sets of notes to create positive energy and enhance creativity. Music interventions can be paired with prompts for relaxation or motivation to help you work more efficiently and effectively, exercise more often, do tasks that you have been putting off, and more.
- Learning/ playing an instrument: Music heals our brains. The brain is the most powerful tool in the human body and has a lot to do with how we sense and feel. Music activity engages several parts of your brain, which results in many positive benefits including pain reduction, cognition, and cognition development and expression skills. Some instruments are designed for easier access to free expression or learning, while others are built for exacting playability by design. If you want to engage your cognitive brain a bit, try learning an instrument like the ukulele! It has no “wrong notes,” and is easy to learn on your own. Making music with an instrument can be fun, easy, and super rewarding when you master it.
- Singing: Singing is a powerful intervention that can help you build stronger connections to your voice, instrument, and music. Singing exercise builds lung function, physical integrity, and emotional well-being. The fact that you are surrounded by other people who are also building their connection to their music increases the power of the intervention as well.
Effects Of Music On Mind
Music can be very effective on our minds such as:
- It can lead to better learning: Music is a powerful motivator and meditation (another brain stimulation tool) can be an effective way to boost your concentration, memory, and creativity. There’s now even evidence of a link between brain health and music. Researchers at Johns Hopkins recommend that you listen to music to stimulate your brain; they can see the active areas light up in MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans.
- It can improve memory: Music can help with memory loss. In one study, researchers found that people who listened to classical music performed better at recalling lists of words than those who worked in silence or with white noise. The same study tracked how fast people could perform simple processing tasks and found a similar benefit for participants who listened to Mozart rather than white noise. Other studies have shown that listening to music can slow cognitive decline among people with mild or moderate dementia, helping them remember episodes from their lives.
- It can treat mental illness: Music changes the brain. It makes you happy, it can make you feel better. Researchers have found that listening to music triggers the release of several neurochemicals that play a role in brain function and mental health: dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and “reward” centers; stress hormones like cortisol; serotonin and other hormones related to immunity; and oxytocin, among others. Along, some studies suggest that music therapy can improve the quality of life and social connectedness of people with schizophrenia.
Effect Of Music On Mood
A few researchers have interviewed groups about why they listen to music. Their results were compelling: They found that one of the most common uses of music is to help people regulate their emotions. To a certain extent, this makes sense—we often reflect on our emotions using music, and sometimes music can change moods when needed. Music can be of great help if someone is in a depression situation or has anxiety as it can lower the anxiety level in the body by making the mind of a person calm.
Effect Of Music On Body
Apart from the mood or mind, music has a great effect on our body as well. As it can:
- It can help a person with their heart health.
- It can help in decreasing fatigue in a person.
- It helps in boosting exercise performance.
- It can also partly help in managing the pain a person is suffering.
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