Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
The Sound of Music
State of Flow
Music, apart from being a great source of listening pleasure, has a lot of other facets to it.
Have you ever noticed that you walk into a department store and end up spending more time than you intended to – you get absorbed in the instrumental or soothing music being played in the background that serves as fodder for the right hemisphere of your brain.
And you feel like lingering in the store for a while as you love the soothing beats of the music and when you linger in the store for longer, you end up buying more stuff. So its no happy coincidence that the marketers of the store played that music in the background in the first place – it was too well-intentioned to be ‘just a coincidence’.
Another very useful function of music is as a therapeutic tool. After a hard day's work, when our nerves are frazzled and we're on edge, if we try listening to soothing music with soft beats, it proves to be therapeutic - we find our tensions and exhaustion drifting away.
That is because the beats directly influence the right hemisphere of the brain, and an overall sense of well being is induced. No wonder listening to Mozart, and other classical music, and also contemporary instrumental like Kenny G has a phenomenal effect on our state and frame of mind.
A lot of pregnant women in the West are known to play the symphony sounds against their stomachs and have felt their babies kicking inside them. Even an unborn child responds to music – this proves that music can so transcend barriers and connect with a child even when he/she has not taken birth.
You may have observed that drumming not only can set a mood, it can also raise the vibrations and energy level in a room very quickly. Similarly heavy metal music makes some people very agitated and others are able to find an escape from the demands of life through it.
Soft music, like a great deal of "New Age" music can relax a lot of people, but, on the other hand could test the patience levels of some. Then again, each one’s temperament and tastes influence their liking towards or aversion to a particular genre of music.
However it can be safe to say that be it nursery rhymes or rock or popular pop or folksy, music does have the power to transport us to another realm and allow us to find a release be it for a magical 5-10 minutes when the demands of life appear a little less forbidding as we play a song we love listening to. It also brings out the inner child in us be it for a brief five minutes.
Another common function of music is to play it in the background to create an ambiance for guests or for a get together, where different groups of people are converging for the first time; they can all revel in the music and thus find a common ground to connect and break the ice and the introductory barriers.
Have you heard of a scientist called Dr Alfred Tomatis? He was an acclaimed doctor in the field of otolaryngology, a branch of medicine dealing with the ear, nose and throat.
Tomatis was convinced that a lot of reading problems and a lot of psychological problems like dyslexia, depression, schizophrenia and autism result from a failure of communication, which has to do with listening and the ear.
He devised his own methods to cure these problems with the aid of music. To treat his patients he used the voice recordings of the mothers of the patients. He altered their mothers’ voices electronically with the help of music composed by Mozart. Hence it came to be known as the Mozart Effect.
He claimed that this method could assist adults in fighting depression, learning foreign languages faster, developing better communication skills and improving both creativity and on-the-job performance.
This method has been employed by a lot of patients with psychological problems and for those who want to develop their potential to their advantage.
I can definitely vouch for the positive effects music could have on learning a new language, simply on the basis of the fact that three-year-old kids pick up nursery rhymes so quickly - they get so absorbed in the music of the rhyme, that it enhances their learning of the words.
This is called 'whole brain learning' - the music in the rhyme stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain, which then allows the left hemisphere to memorise the words very quickly, thus facilitating whole brain learning.
I personally find listening to music as being very liberating.
Even while working on my computer I like to play music in the backdrop – it keeps my mind relaxed and new ideas often visit a relaxed mind and that is how I’m able to come up with new concepts and topics to pen down on my blog – there you go, that was my ‘musical’ blogging mantra that I just gave away!
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