As Billy Joel (2014), songwriter and performer, once said, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music”(para.1). People love music, don’t they? Everyone would agree with that. Music touches us in deep ways that words alone cannot. Music stirs our emotions, makes our bodies move, and has also been used for therapeutic purposes. In the first place, music stirs our emotions and touches us deeply where words cannot. Now, depending on the genre you’re listening to at that point in time, you’re smiling and happy. For example, the song titled “Happy” by Pharrell Williams is an upbeat song with positive lyrics. Whereas, some really bad rock music can sometimes make you feel angry, depressed, or both. In the Global Post article describing the relationship between music and children’s behavior, “Children who listen to heavy metal music have a greater propensity for substance abuse and other risky behaviors during adolescence, according to the American Association of Pediatrics” (Wade, 2014, para. 2). Studies are finding that desensitizing lyrics with negative messages tend to encourage misbehavior that is violent or anti-social. There is also inspiring music and music that is sad, but helps to heal your heart when dealing with a loved one’s passing. Music has also made one feel at peace in their surroundings. Music also makes our bodies move. Research on the effects of music during exercise has been done for hundreds of years.
In 1911, an American researcher, Leonard Ayres, found that people pedal faster while listening to music than they did in silence. This happens because listening to music can drown out our brain’s cries of fatigue. As our body realizes we’re tired and wants to stop exercising, it sends signals to the brain to stop for a break. This is mostly beneficial for low- and moderate- intensity exercise (Cooper, 2013). Playing different types of instruments makes our bodies move as well. Listening to music during housework is a great way to move. You can dance very silly and no one is around to see it. Music makes us move. Lastly, music has been used in therapy for hundreds of years. Music therapy can start with activities such as shaking a rhythm shaker egg, maracas, or drumming in beat with others, or it can become an advanced exercise in writing expressive lyrics and singing with a group. The benefit of music helping during a therapeutic procedure is people with brain injuries can activate the brain in alternate ways, allowing them to regain movement or speech. Studies show that people, especially among teens suffering from depression and sadness, when starting to listen to positive music actually lowers the need for suicide.
Also, when children with developmental disabilities, listen to music they love it gives them a fresh new way to communicate and the feeling of being independent. An example of the healing power of music is to watch video a about Henry, an old man who has been living in a nursing home for 10 years. Like some people his age, Henry is suffering from dementia. He forgets things easily and has lost many of his mental abilities. In fact, Henry lives in his own world, often unresponsive to other people. But the nurses discovered that if they let him listen to his favorite music from the past, he is instantly transformed with life energy, and suddenly able to have conversations with the people around him. Music breathes life into his body and mind. It truly is an amazing example of the healing power of music. In conclusion, music truly has a powerful impact on our lives. It can be therapeutic, make our bodies move, along with stirring our emotions. So what will you be listening to tonight?
Billy Joel’s quote and my thesis.
Beginning of the site http://deepenglish.com/2012/11/the-healing-power-of-music/ Cooper, B. (2013) 8 Surprising Ways Music Affects and Benefits our Brains – Step 8 Retrieved from Twitter Webinar: http://blog.bufferapp.com/author/belle-beth-cooper An old man, Henry with Dementia, and what the power of music from his era does for him. Retrieved from youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ Wade, L. (2014) Does the Type of Music a Child Listened to Affect the Way They Will Behave Globalpost. Retrieved from: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/type-music-child-listened-affect-way-behave-19821.html
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