From the womb, you experience sound: your mother’s heartbeat, breathing and muffled voice. Growing up you sing songs and hear music being playhouse may even make your own music. From the discordant, Irritating noise of traffic in the street to the soft, soothing Mazurka played in the elevator and at shopping malls, music surrounds you and, may impact you without your knowledge. The constant honking of a car horn will tend to irritate you; whereas, a string quartet playing classical music has the tendency to calm you.

As music’s calming powers are TTS most noticeable results, it would prove worthwhile to explore the benefits of listening to music as a means of relaxation as well as what possible applications music may have in relation to this phenomenon. Countless studies have shown that musses relaxing effects can be seen on anyone, including newborns. Music therapist Jane Canine explored the effects of music on preterm babies and low-weight newborns as part of her master’s thesis at Florida State University. L Her research included music’s effects on stress behaviors, weight, caloric and formula intake and length of hospital stay.

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Fifty-two preterm and low-weight babies served as subjects, and were split Into control and experimental groups. The control group received normal auditory stimulation while the experiment al group received musical stimulation from a 60-minute tape containing vocal music, including children’s music and lullabies, as well as the normal auditory stimulation. The experimental group had much shorter stays in both the newborn intensive care unit and the hospital itself as well as lower initial weight loss than the control group. Resulting weight gain was also lower in the experimental group.

The experimental group’s formula intake was much lower than the control group, however their caloric Intake wasn’t significantly lower. The control group’s mean stress behaviors were also much higher than those of their counterparts in the experimental group. Thus, it can be seen that the babies who listened to music became more relaxed and as a result, they left the hospital earlier and healthier than the babies who didn’t listen to music. Such relaxation from the use of music can also be demonstrated to lead to a decrease In experienced physical pain by offering a pleasant distraction which also serves as a lid sedative.

Cynthia Allison Davis, a music therapist at Gaston Memorial Hospital In Gaston, North Carolina completed a thesis while at Florida State University in which music was used in combination with relaxation techniques to help with pain and anxiety in genealogical procedures. 2 Twenty-two subjects, ages 17 40th, underwent medical treatment requiring instrumentation of the cervix by the same gynecologist: oscilloscope (microscopic examination); cryosurgery (tissue removal by freezing); or punch biopsy (tissue removal by punch action Instrument).

The subjects were split onto a control group, who received the usual medical procedure with no music, and the experimental group who were given relaxation instructions and their choice of music before the procedure. Anxiety and pain levels were measured by observations of behavior (including movement of eyebrows, eyelids, mouth, lips , hands, feet, entire body, visualization, remarks, crying and perspiration), respiratory rates and pulse rates at five specific times during the procedure: after patient preparation and prior during scraping or other instrumentation of the cervix and as the doctor exited.

Subjects also gave input as their own experienced level of anxiety before the procedure and the level of pain experienced during and after the procedure. The Observed pain responses were consistently higher for the control group than they Nerve for the experimental group, suggesting that the music was lowering the levels of pain in the experimental group. The greatest differences in pain between the groups were found during the cervical scraping, the most painful part of the procedure. At the moment of punch biopsy, the control group showed greater observable pain than their counterparts who listened to music during the proceed ere.

Overall, the control group had higher pulse rates and respiratory rates, as well. One may ask if it could be that the music serves only to distract the patient. Whether or not the listening to music simply serves as a distraction or if it actually goes so far as to trigger the brain to release pain-killing endorphins is irrelevant. Music helps lower anxiety levels, and as a result, pain seems to be lessened. In much the same Nay, loud noises, such as busy streets and rock concerts serve to raise anxiety levels.

Music can be of use in “canceling out” the irritating and loud sounds that we hear ACH day and the resulting stress caused by such sounds. In a study at the Children’s Hospital of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jenifer Winced, a clinical nurse specialist in pediatric critical care, worked with eight children (from ages two to fifteen) who suffered from cerebral edema. 3 She concentrated on the sound range from 78 to 96- decide ells in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICO), as a noise level of 70 decibels starts a stress-response initiated by the pituitary-adrenal axis.

This stress response is manifested by a rise in heart rate, blood pressure, cerebral blood flow and peripheral ‘constriction. Such stress would raise the interracial pressure (ICP) of the children suffering from cerebral edema, so she experimented with methods of muffling the noise in the PICO. The first method tested involved placing earphones over the child’s ears. In the second test, she played Bach’s soothing Concerto in D through the headphones. For 15 minutes before and 15 minutes during earphone use, Winced monitored fingertip temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and ICP. 20th interventions, she found, significantly lowered heart rate, blood pressure and ICP (ranging from a 16 to 29 percent drop) while also raising fingertip temperature. Inheres both methods worked, the music caused a temporary initial rise in he art rate, but was followed with a much greater net decline compared to the use of earphones by themselves. Again, one can see music’s effects of reducing stress and anxiety levels even when the stress is caused by auditory stimulus.

Several other studies have shown music to be an effective way of relaxation to the point of sedation: OAt the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada, classical music has Nortek so well as a painkiller that many terminally ill cancer patients have been taken off analgesic drugs. Olin a study involving patients in Poland who had severe headaches or painful neurological disorders 408 were divided up into two groups. Ere experimental group was exposed to symphonic music along with their daily regimen of painkillers, while the control group continued with their normal painkiller dosage.

After six months, the experimental group was consuming far fewer painkillers and sedatives. 5 Olin a research project for a master’s degree at Delphic hearing “easy-listening” music . The patients involved were all females, ranging from age 37 to 57, who had recently undergone hysterectomies. The twenty-eight subjects were randomly assigned to either the experimental group, (which was given 10-minute tape of “easy-listening” instrumental music for the first two days after surgery), or the control group, which was given nothing.

All subjects were asked to rate their pain during the time period in which any sedative or painkiller would have Nor off. After a ten-minute period (in which the experimental group listened to music and the control group merely relaxed) the survey was given again. In the experimental group, average anxiety scores had dropped significantly, whereas in the intro group, score s remained generally the same. The same was true with the rating of pain: those who listened to the music noted a relative decrease in pain.

Olin University of Utah study, 1 5 out-patients suffering from cancer-related pain were assigned three days of twice daily, 45 minute music sessions at home. 7 The experimental group listened to relaxing music, while the control group listened to a 50-cycle hum, designed to be a placebo. After three days, the groups switched. Questionnaires dealing with pain and mood were filled out by the patients before and after each session. While music was not found to alter mood much, 11 patients reported some reduction in pain. Seven of these patients had a moderate or great response.

Overall, the mean percentage of change in pain scores by use of music was near double that of pain scores using the tone. These findings suggest that there is something specific with music’s effect upon relaxation. If a mere distraction was needed, the scores for both music and the tone would have been the same. However, since those who listened to music reported less pain, one can hypothesize that music serves as more than a mere distraction. The preceding list of studies shows how USIA can aid in the reduction of severe pain.

However, music can also be helpful for relief of pain which isn’t severe or hospital relating one case, it was shown to be beneficial for migraine headaches. Psychologist Janet Lap, of California State University in Fresno, conducted a study dealing with reducing the pain involved with migraine headaches. 8 In her study, she divided a group of migraine sufferers into two groups who underwent relaxation training in combination with either biofeedback or music. In the biofeedback group, specialized equipment informed the test subjects of when they were relaxed.

In the music group, the test subjects Imagined peaceful scenes while t hey listened to a medley of popular songs. The training lasted for five weeks , consisting of two 30 minute sessions a day. All test subjects kept track of the migraines they suffered (in terms of number, intensity and duration) each day while undergoing training as well as during follow-ups :approximately one month after the sessions and one year after the sessions). The results showed that both groups were suffering from fewer migraines after the training as compared to a control group who had received no training whatsoever.

Overall, however, the results were better for the music group, especially at the one- Hear follow-up, at which point the music group experienced only a sixth as many headaches as they had suffered before training and the headaches which they did suffer were less intense and less prolonged. Thus, music can be demonstrated to have a positive influence on health, namely in that it reduces stress and creates a the individual, would its effects be the same in a group environment?

The search for the answer to this question prompted Marcia Hummel to study music effects on a group environment. Hummel, a music therapist from the Quahogs County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities in Cleveland, Ohio, conducted a study investigating the effects of an integrated early childhood music program on the social interaction displayed amongst handicapped children and their non-handicapped peers. 9 Fifteen students (age 4) from a typical preschool and twelve students (age 3 to 5) with moderate levels of retardation participated in the study.

The children met once weekly at the preschool for integrated music sessions which varied over the fifteen week period by including a wide variety of activities such as singing, playing instruments, creative movement, playing musical games and dancing. The students Nerve once urged to mingle by the supervising researchers during the sessions. To measure social interaction, a series of pretests were administered to the students before the fifteen sessions. Three opposites were given at the end to compare changes in social interaction.

For each pretest and posters the students were divided into two randomly ordered groups, with members rotated for each test to ensure that students would have to choose different partners each time. The music therapist would call out half of the students by name and ask them to choose ratters. After ten seconds, it was noted if the student had chosen a partner, and if the partner was from their school or not, or if the student remained alone. The mean percentage of students who participated in the pretest stage was 69%, with 62% of those students picking partners from their home school.

Only 7% of the students who participated picked partners from the alternate site. The mean posters scores show that the music sees signs helped increase the students colonization, with 93% of the students participating. Selection of a partner from the home site dropped to 47%, Nile selection of a partner from the alternate site rose to 46%. Clearly the sessions helped raise both the level of activity as well as the level of interaction among the students indicating that the music acted as a catalyst for increased interaction.

The integration of music into the children’s lives as little as once a week broke down social barriers between two completely different groups who, in normal circumstances would have found it difficult to socialize. So, not only does music make the individual feel more calm and relaxed, it also aids larger groups in socializing and Interacting. All of these benefits of music have one thing in common: the brain, Inhere feelings of calm originate. However, music has been shown to effect more than mere changes in modest also can physically change the brain.

Neurologist Got ride Scholar of the Heimlich Hein University in D;scolders, Germany led a team of researchers investigating the brain using magnetic resonance imaging. 10 Twenty- seven classically trained right handed male piano or string players were tested alongside twenty-seven right handed male musicians. Scholar found that the corpus callous, the central bundle of nerve fibers connecting the brain’s two mesosphere, was significantly larger in the brains of musicians. For those who had trained from an early age, their corpus callous were 10 to 15 percent thicker than those of musicians.

Nerves which control motor functions on either side of the brain pass through the front half of the corpus callous. Since playing a musical hypothesized that musical training which takes place early in life develops the corpus callous faster and too higher degree. The Scholar team has also found differences among musicians with perfect pitch. Al In the normal human brain, the plenum memorable (a section of cortex in the temporal lobe) is larger on the left side than it is on the right. In musicians with perfect pitch, this feature is much more noticeably pronounced.

The reason for this, Scholar theorizes, is that the plenum temporal might be specialized to the analyzing and categorizing of sound, and not Just language, as had been previously suspected. With this physical change in brain, one can surmise that music can effect three of the brain’s supreme objectives: learning, thinking and remembering. Any detrimental change, such as a lobotomy or severe head trauma can lead to a loss in these skills. It would follow that a positive change Inch happens to the brain would aid the aforementioned skills.

Such an assumption Mould be correct. The recent research discovering the “Mozart Effect” confirms this the error in respects to thinking. In research done by Frances H. Earaches, Gordon L. Shaw and Katherine N. KY, of the University of California, Irvine, the so-called “Mozart Effect” was discovered. 12 Thirty-six students were given three different standard IQ spatial reasoning tasks, each preceded by ten minutes of three different selections: Mozart sonata for two pianos in D major (KAKA), a relaxation tape designed to lower load pressure or silence.

The average spatial IQ scores were 119, 111 and 110 for the Mozart, the relaxation tape and silence, respectively. The enhancing effect, however, was temporary and did not extend past the 10 to 15 minutes necessary to complete each spatial task. This study shows that listening to music can temporarily enhance one’s spatial reasoning abilities. This, however, can easily be attributed to the resulting calm from listening to music. As seen in the Scholar research, the brain is physically impacted when a person takes part in making it physically, most ethically by music lessons at an early age.

We have already seen that the brain is affected by music lessons which take place early in life, but do students actually learn better if they take part in music lessons? Again, the answer is yes. In a pilot study, Earaches and her fellow researchers worked with a group of three-year-olds in an Inner city day care center. 13 Some received 30 minutes of singing lessons each day Nile another group was given piano lessons. After nine months, both groups showed a marked improvement in their ability to put together a puzzle, a standard est. of mathematical reasoning skills.

In a larger follow-up study, Earaches and her colleagues found that the children who had received piano and voice lessons performed 35 percent better than the control group who did not have any instruction n music. Thus, music instruction early in life can ha eve a dramatic impact upon later mathematical ability. Does musical instruction only benefit learning of mathematics, however? A study of 1200 children performed in Switzerland found that those who Nerve given extra music lessons performed better than those who had not received extra musical instruction. Maria Speechify, a psychologist from the University of Fibrous in Switzerland, along with Jean-Luck Patty from the Saltwater University in Austria, studied 70 classes of children from the ages of 7 to 15. In the experimental group of 35 classes, the number of 45-minute music lessons per week was increased to five a week while reducing the amount of time spent on language and control group remained the same (one or two a week). After three years, both groups of students were asked a series of questions formulated to compare their intelligence, social integration and co native ability.

While no difference was found n their intelligence levels, the students in the experimental group were better at language and no worse in mathematics than their peers in the control group, even though they had spent less time on the subjects. It was also found that the children n the group given extra music lessons demonstrated improvements in their ability to retell a story which had been read to them using both pictures and writing. Their teachers reported that younger children who had received extra music lessons learned to read more easily.

Also reported were that there was less social tension in he experimental classrooms and the children were more cooperative and friendly, reinforcing the theory that music can help people relax and prove beneficial in group settings, as set forth in the Hummel study. We have now established that music can aid in the gathering of knowledge and the speed with which that knowledge is gained. Just as important is the ex. nomination of the role that music plays in recalling that knowledge.

This is quite easily seen, as most of us experience it on a daily basis. Nile listening to the radio, many can sing along with the songs with assess much ease, in fact, that most don’t need to think about the words that they are reciting, focusing most of their attention on much more important matters. Personally I have experienced this with the memorization Hebrew prayers in song form; I can easily recite the words, having no idea what they mean, but remembering the sounds associated with each prayer tune.

However, this may be a phenomenon of short-term memory. To best examine this, one needs to examine those who have lost their ability to retain short-term mercilessness’s patients. In a Joint study by Carol A. Pricket and Randall S. Moore (of the University of Alabama and the University of Oregon, respectively), ten elderly patients who had been diagnosed with Listener’s disease were assessed for recall of both sung and spoken material. 5 The material Inch was asked for was either something with which the patient had lifelong familiarity, such as popular gospel hymns (all patients were from the “Bible Belt” region of America) and their birthrates and hometowns, or something which the patient had Just been presented, such as the song “It’s a Small World,” which none seemed to recognize, the therapist’s name and an unpublished poem. It was found that the patients recalled the words to songs much better than they recalled spoken Norms or rhymed speech.

While the average recalls for familiar words, the newly presented song and the new poem were 47. 43%, 42. 19% and 39. 33% respectively, the average recall for the long-familiar songs, surpassed them with an astonishing 71. 8% recall. It is quite obvious that music incorporated with long-term memory helps the retention of memories better that n simple words alone, memorized by rote. Thus, by using music in a classroom setting, it may be possible to help teach things with a Geiger expectation of recall at a later date.

Music can thus be seen to play an important role in life. Music calms. Aside from the obvious medical benefits of this calming phenomenon, it can prove to be quite useful in an educational setting. By Integrating music into the classroom passively, (by playing a recording or playing music), the students will feel calmer and experience less anxiety. This feeling will atmosphere more conducive to learning. The music will also trigger the “Mozart Effect,” boosting intelligence for a brief period of time. Music also helps in learning. Introducing active musical instruction into the education of a child at a young age, his brain will be affected, making such skills as math and foreign language (as well as anything ells e that deals with spatial reasoning) easier as well as giving the child a creative outlet. Making music an integral part of the learning process may help to remedy the shortcomings seen in the American public school system. The benefits of stronger music program should be thoroughly researched, especially when, at this point in time, funding for music programs in the United States is being drastically reduced.