Music, Mood & Emotions

Part 3

 

Music, Mood & Emotions

 

How Does Music Impact Our Emotions?

 Part 3 - Continued

Just why humans developed such a biologically based appreciation of music is still not clear. The appreciation of food and the drive for sex evolved to help the survival of the species, but "music did not develop strictly for survival purposes," Blood told Associated Press at the time.

She also believes that because music activates the parts of the brain that make us happy, this suggests it can benefit our physical and mental well being.

This is good news for patients undergoing surgical operations who experience anxiety in anticipation of those procedures.

Polish researcher, Zbigniew Kucharski, at the Medical Academy of Warsaw, studied the effect of acoustic therapy for fear management in dental patients. During the period from October 2001 to May 2002, 38 dental patients aged between 16 and 60 years were observed. The patients received variations of acoustic therapy, a practice where music is received via headphones and also vibrators.

Dr Kucharski discovered the negative feelings decreased five-fold for patients who received 30 minutes of acoustic therapy both before and after their dental procedure. For the group that heard and felt music only prior to the operation, the fearful feelings reduced by a factor of 1.6 only.

For the last group (the control), which received acoustic therapy only during the operation, there was no change in the degree of fear felt.

A 1992 study identified music listening and relaxation instruction as an effective way to reduce pain and anxiety in women undergoing painful gynecological procedures. And other studies have proved music can reduce other 'negative' human emotions like fear, distress and depression.

Sheri Robb and a team of researchers published a report in the Journal of Music Therapy in 1992, outlining their findings that music assisted relaxation procedures (music listening, deep breathing and other exercises) effectively reduced anxiety in pediatric surgical patients on a burn unit.

"Music," says Esther Mok in the AORN Journal in February 2003, "is an easily administered, non-threatening, non-invasive, and inexpensive tool to calm preoperative anxiety."

So far, according to the same report, researchers cannot be certain why music has a calming affect on many medical patients. One school of thought believes music may reduce stress because it can help patients to relax and also lower blood pressure. Another researcher claims music allows the body's vibrations to synchronize with the rhythms of those around it. For instance, if an anxious patient with a racing heartbeat listens to slow music, his heart rate will slow down and synchronize with the music's rhythm.

Such results are still something of a mystery. The incredible ability that music has to affect and manipulate emotions and the brain is undeniable, and yet still largely inexplicable.

Aside from brain activity, the affect of music on hormone levels in the human body can also be quantified, and there is definite evidence that music can lower levels of cortisol in the body (associated with arousal and stress), and raise levels of melatonin (which can induce sleep). It can also precipitate the release of endorphins, the body's natural painkiller.

But how does music succeed in prompting emotions within us? And why are these emotions often so powerful? The simple answer is that no one knows… yet. So far we can quantify some of the emotional responses caused by music, but we cannot yet explain them.

 Music, Mood & Emotions

Part 1 of Music, Moods & Emotions
Part 2 of Music, Moods & Emotions
Part 3 of Music, Moods & Emotions
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Music instruction & piano lessons

Keyboard Workshop was established in 1965 to help piano players of all levels enhance their piano playing ability though the use of chords, styles, rhythms, runs, fills and other strategies. So we've been around the block a couple times, and we know what works!  We have taught hundreds of thousands of piano lessons on DVD's, CD's, videos, cassettes, music books, sheet music, chord charts, as well as free piano sheet music and free piano lessons online and instant chord finder from our sister-sites. 

     Duane is a graduate of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a BS & Masters Degree in Humanities (Music & English literature - a double major) and he is known as "the pianoman" -- the author of over 500 books, CD's and DVD's having to do with all aspects of piano playing. But degrees and education means nothing without the ability to teach so that the student can UNDERSTAND and then APPLY what he or she understands. Take one course and you'll immediately see for yourself why Duane's DVD and CD courses are "one of a kind" -- they actually get you UNDERSTANDING music and then show you -- clearly and plainly -- how to APPLY what you learn to your piano!

     Duane has more fun teaching piano than should be legal, and that love of piano playing and music in general is contagious.

     No formalities here -- lots of laughs and exciting insights into how to make the sounds you love -- whether that means pop piano or praise & gospel piano or blues piano or ragtime piano or new age piano or -- you name it.

     He has worked with many doctors and professional people who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend a scheduled lesson in a studio, because they can do it on their own time. He also works with church pianists and music directors to help them hone their skills, as well as beginners that don't know Middle C from Tweedle Dee, and everyone in-between.