Volume 1, Issue 1
Daily Diminuendo B
5 Songs to Relax To:
Across The Universe - Sung by Rufus Wainwright
Air, Op. 10, “Dublinesque” Billy Joel
Daughters - John Mayer
Dominoes Butch Walker
Falling In Love at a Coffee Shop Landon Pigg
I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E :
Music as a Physical Benefit
Music That Heals Interview
The Benefits of Music Therapy
Considering Being a Music Therapist?
M u s i c
As a musician, I’ve always had a song either playing in my ears or playing in my head every second of the day. But in the past few years, research has begun to prove music is more than just an hobby and an art as it is to people like me. Scientists in Italy have found that music opens the blood vessels of the listener and synchronizes all of their bodily functions. It gets the body working and motivated. After hearing this, doctors have begun to give patients a healthy dose of Mozart’s compositions after having surgery or during their recovery period. They have received good feedback from patients, like Victor Fabry
Musicophilia: A Book That Will Change Your Thoughts About Music
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"Very restful, very soothing. The mind influences your recovery. Anything that qui-
ets your anxiety is powerful.” a 68 year old man, who had been recovering from open heart surgery. Some scientists believe the reason music is so calming is because the beat of it reminds us of our mother’s heartbeat from our first 9 months in the womb. The sound vibrations also have a wonderful affect to the
b e n e f i t body that makes it feel almost like a massage. Of course, it depends on what sort of speakers the music is coming out of. Scientists are also saying that once the music enters your ears, the sound waves create mechanical energy with vibrations in your eardrum, which are made into electric energy by the brain. This energy is transferred after a long run through the brain, it is transferred the rest of the body by the hypothalamus which works to maintain equality throughout the body. This can cause goosebumps and “butterflies” with certain songs.
Musicophlia by Oliver Sacks is a must-read about how music can have an affect on the brain. Dr. Sacks tells stories about patients who have been through traumatizing events, or have made a simple medication change, and suddenly have a deep craving for music. “I came to think that the only reason I had been allowed to survive was the music.” Said Tony Cocoria, a man hit by lightning who showed no vital signs and watched himself die for a few minutes before coming back to life. Many other patients are observed in this book as well, including ones who aren’t so lucky with music. (continued on page 2)
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(Musicophilia continued) Like the case of a man who has seizures every time a certain genre of music or a certain song is played; or the case of another who hears music over and over that no one else can hear. Doctors believe it all has to do with how the brain receives sound waves. The seizures triggered by music is called musicogenic epilepsy. Usually the seizures are caused by music that is 1) familiar, 2) linked with a traumatic event, or 3) too complex for the brain to comprehend in one way or another. But these unfortunate disorders are very rare, and are shown much less than the benefits of music are. Musicophilia is $26 dollars and recommended for musicians and non musicians.
An Interview With The Founders of Music That Heals Kathy Lord and Susan Weber Maurer founded an organization called Music That Heals in 1998. It is a national organization that brings musical performances to the mentally ill. But they spend most of their time with children. Music is a fantastic and very successful therapy to use with children because it is very far from coming across as threatening and soothes their nerves. It works especially well with autistic children and calming them down. I contacted the two ladies who founded this organization and asked them each four questions. It was obvious they were both very passionate about music and what they do with Music That Heals. My first question was: How do you believe music heals the mind? And they responded similarly, saying different types of music affect your mind differently.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
As Maurer said, “Some will manipulate our mind positively, and some negatively. If a person has positive associations with a particular song or piece of music, then that music will stimulate happy memories and positive feelings, whereas another person may have painful associations with the same piece of music and therefore not benefit from hearing it at all.” My second question was: In your opinion, how do you believe music is beneficial? They spoke again about how depending on the type of music you listen to, it can affect your mood in a way nothing else can. Music vibrations correspond with the mind’s vibrations as it thinks. Therefore certain types of music correspond a sort of “dance” with our body functions. Our hearts will even start beating to the rhythm of a song if we listen deeply enough. (Doctors have noticed this more with classical music in their patients) So music corresponding with our brain can help re-configure our body functions. They both agreed with that statement.
My third question was: How do you work with music on a day to day basis? Lord said she does every day of her life, but Maurer has transitioned since her musical years into being a full time college professor at NCC teaching history. Yet she still finds time to practice her music several times a week. But they are both people with degrees in music who are interested in music whole-heartedly. It proves the accuracy of their opinions compared to a person with no musical experience. They have seen how music can truly heal through their organization. My fourth and final question was: How has music effected your life? They both commented on how that question was too broad for them. Music had become such a large part of them they couldn’t put it in a paragraph. Lord said, “Music has taught me many things and watching peoples responses to music has also taught me many things.” There you have it - spoken by professionals! Music helps in many different ways. It just depends on how we use it.
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M u s i c I recently interviewed a woman named Allison White. She works at BJC and has worked as a music therapist for a time in her life. What exactly is music therapy you may be wondering? She said a session of therapy went something like this, “The therapist played on the piano as they people banged on instruments and tried to keep up with the beat. So, they weren't learning how to play the music but were just using the music to let out their emotions and energy. It
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Music therapy can do wonders for people who have been traumatized or seriously injured. It works in sync with the brain to create harmony with all the body organs. Trevor Gibbons is one living example of how music therapy works. He was working on installing windows four stories up on a building when he had a stroke one day. He was
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also provided mental and physical stimulation for them. For instance if they had a physical handicap they would have to use that limb to create sound, which would force them to use that hand or arm for exercise.” She had a bit of a different opinion on how music worked with the mind, but the same general idea as others have. “Music can help heal the mind by allowing people who may not necessarily have a
M u s i c
never the same again. He fracture his spinal cord and wasn’t able to talk for his vocal chords had been effected. But with music therapy, he found his voice by singing music he had composed with the help of a specialist. He now writes on a regular basis. It is his motivation to get up in the morning. He says the birds remind him of that when
Music therapists do multiple things to help patients get involved with music. Musicworkswonders.com defines a music therapists job like this, “The music therapist performs
an assessment of the individual and recommends a treatment plan. Based on the client’s specific needs, a treatment may include singing, improvising, song-writing, movement, marching, playing percussion instruments or listening to their preferred style of life or pre-recorded music.” Being a music therapist can be
She spoke of music having the power to release emotional energy that’s bottled up that could eventually lead to major help problems. It is also an alternative for drugs since it gives that sense of escape in a much healthier way. Especially for teenagers who are trying to find who they are - they find refuge in music that they can relate to. “It also helped normalize their feelings since if rock stars talked about topics, bad relationships, problems then it must be "normal" for people to have the same issues.”
T h e r a p y he hears them as he is waking up. Another example is Jeremy who had both his arms amputated after being set on fire in his own apartment. He lost the use of most of his nerves, and him being a “touchy-feely” type of person, he uses his music to do “touch” people with emotion and melodies instead.
C o n s i d e r i n g B e i n g A T h e r a p i s t ? Did you know there are only 5000 music therapists in the United States? That’s right. This job is in high demand, and is highly needed by so many people.
“Music can heal the mind by allowing people who may not necessarily have a “voice” to express emotions/ feelings”
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spiritually and musically fulfilling. If you have the gift of music and the gift of mercy, why not share them both at the same time? Children, adults and the elderly all benefit just as much from music therapy. The world needs so much more of these miracle workers. If more people step up, a lot of lives could be changed through music.
A music therapist at work
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?
Sources for more information listed here: Patty Donovan. “Music Possesses An Amazing Healing Power”. Natural News. 21 July 2009. 9 November 2009. http:// www.naturalnews.com/026668_the_brain_MSN_blood.html. “Dewdrops”. “Music Therapy: Music Heals”. Shvoong. 17 February 2008. 18 November 2009. http:// www.shvoong.com/humanities/musicology/1766809-music-therapy-music-heals/ Lord, Kathy. How Music Heals The Mind. 18 November 2009. Maurer, Susan Weber. How Music Heals The Mind. 19 November 2009. Emma Woollacott. “Music heals the heart, and soothes the soul”. TG Daily: The Tech Generation. 22 June 2009. 9 November 2009. http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/42954-music-heals-the-heart-and-soothes-the-soul White, Allison E. Music Therapy. 20 November 2009.
About MTH. Music That Heals. 2009. 7 November 2009. http://www.musicthatheals.org/index2.html. Music Works FAQ – Music Therapist. Music Works. 2004. 18 November 2009. http://www.musicworkswonders.com/ html/MTFAQ1.html Success Stories. Music Has The Power: Institute for Music and Neurologic Function. 2009. 20 November 2009. http:// www.bethabe.org/Success_Stories199.html.
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