Music speaks to us through the entirety of our lives. It brings us back to a time and place, it lulls us to sleep. It can make our workouts more fun, and it can provide the perfect ambiance to an evening of conversation.
Music plays a large part in the work I do. A variety of instrumental folk music supports the relaxation of clients on my massage table. In Essentrics, the music helps us move more fluidly as when increasing movement through the torso, with more purpose as we do plies and leg toning, and with ease during our final stretch. Throughout the workout, our brains are working to match pacing and movements to the music - great for both body and brain health.
Music can also help with specific conditions. In this National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Article: Music and Health, the many benefits of music-based intervention are documented in scientific reviews. Here are a few:
Our brains benefit from music whether we listen to it, play an instrument, or sing. In this Johns Hopkins Medicine Article: Keep Your Brain Young With Music, one suggestion is listening to your children’s or grandchildren’s music in order to benefit your brain. We can become stuck in a groove (pardon the pun) if we continue to listen to the same music we are comfortable with. Listening to, or learning, new genres helps us stay young. My daughter and I listen to her playlists on all of our road trips, so I feel confident that my brain is learning new music and words every time we travel together.
Music helps us remember things - and not just time and place memories. Think of all the jingles from old television commercials - you probably still know every word. Or songs we learned as children that we can instantly recall even if we haven’t heard them in years. One of my favorite silly songs starts out: “I went to the animal fair…” Do you remember the rest of the words? Here’s a video to help you out: The Animal Fair.
Whether you play, sing, listen, hum or whistle a tune, or tap on the steering wheel while waiting for the light to turn green, music enhances our lives.
Jacqueline Denny, ACC, CHPC, LMT