The power of music provides a number of benefits related to our health.
Most of us have heard the expression, “music soothes the savage breast.” What is stated in poetry is sometimes validated by reality. Many people can attest to the power of music to improve their state of mind, release stress, and foster self-expression.
Some studies have shown that music also has a salubrious effect on health on a day-to-day basis and for patients recovering from illnesses. There are a number of benefits available for those who enjoy playing an instrument or singing as well as for those who simply enjoy listening.
The Healthful Effects of Music
Music, particularly classical, has been shown to have a relaxing effect on the heart rate and nervous system. Extending listening can lower blood pressure and slow down the release of stress hormones that heighten reaction to stimuli. Some see music as a distraction, but it has been shown to help focus the mind and to eliminate other distractions.
Classical music helps stimulate the intellect and the ability to concentrate, which in turn can positively affect productivity. Listening to music in the car can take some of the stress and annoyance out of driving, and bringing earphones with you on the subway can help you focus something far more pleasant than the routine commute.
Studies have demonstrated that music is not only pleasing but can promote healthful functioning. One study showed improved communication among disabled children who listened to music. Distress in patients undergoing operations was reduced when they listened to music prior to the procedures.
The effect of music therapy resulted in measurable improvement among patients suffering from depression and cancer. Even without these studies, few can deny that music helps you feel better and motivate you to get out of bed in the morning.
Learn to Play
Appreciating music has a number of benefits, but playing a musical instrument or singing can cut stress and encourage a sense of well-being. When stress is introduced into the brain, it starts a chain reaction that affects the entire body. If a person is consistently receiving stress signals, the result could be fatigue and depression.
Playing music for a short period of time can switch off the stress response. There is no need to rehearse for hours; people who are consistently facing stress have their responses turned on much of the time, and simply having the switch in “off” position for brief periods can create a general feeling of relief.
Banging out a tune on a keyboard or playing drums can shut off these circuits that lead to stress. The key is, however, not to get stressed out with perfectionism. Taking on an arduous practice schedule and having demanding expectations can undermine the stress-relief benefits of playing music.
Instead, play a keyboard tune by ear or fool around on the harmonica. Playing music with your kids can create healing play as well as fun for you and your children.
Bringing Music into Your Family
Good habits start young, and that is also true when it comes to practicing an instrument or using music to relieve stress. There are a number of ways to engage kids in the study and appreciation of music. It is recommended to have classical music turned on the radio or on television regularly so children may become curious about high-quality music.
Going to the orchestra is a memorable experience for many children, and a useful way to introduce them to the power of music. It is important to listen together with your children and respond to their observations. Making your children aware of the sounds and the power of music around them is another way to adapt them to musical awareness.
Enrolling your child in formal music lessons should be without pressure and if the child is enthusiastic. There are a number of benefits from learning a musical instrument, including improved confidence, strong coordination, and solid academic performance. Music education early on helps develop the same parts of the brain that are involved in language and reasoning abilities.
In addition, the creation of music gives a child a sense of accomplishment that can foster healthy self-esteem. Working with other musicians in a band can create a feeling of teamwork and enhance a child’s ability to work cooperatively as well as independently. Music is a valuable gift given in early life and can be a substantial investment in the future.
Music as a Healing Force
Scientific studies support what many people have known instinctively for centuries, namely, that music is a tonic for the body and the soul. A bit of music can lighten the mood and even ease physical reactions to stress. It can elevate self-esteem and raise spirits. Patients struggling with disease seem to cope better when listening to music before and after treatment.
Playing music can intensify the positive effects of listening, and can create a sense of fun and enjoyment with one’s children. Introducing music education early in a child’s life can promote the proper development of language and reasoning ability and encourage optimal academic performance.
Children who understand music learn to appreciate their world, to envision harmony and encourage cooperation. If you know other benefits of the power of music, share with us in the comment below.
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