Music and the brain
Even ancient civilisations knew of the benefits of music to health and general wellbeing. However it is only in the last few years that technology has been able to show the interaction between music and the physical aspects of the brain.
The extraordinary health benefits of listening to music
In today's world of mass communication we find ourselves bombarded with messages on the latest news regarding what's good and bad for your health and wellbeing. Whether it's a new exercise regime, the greatest detox diet ever or the latest beauty treatment to stop the aging process, there's a seemingly never ending assault on our senses, emotions and bank accounts on ways to look better, enhance our self-esteem and generally feel better about ourselves.
There is however a force for increased health and wellbeing that has been around for centuries, and has been used over the years by many people for a wide range of physical, emotional and psychological benefits.
The power of music
This great health force is music and the benefits derived over the years have been substantial and widespread. Music has been used to relieve stress, improve physical performance and enhance the functionality of the brain in a wide variety of ways.
Different genres and styles of music would seem to provide different types of health benefits and for example, particularly upbeat and rousing pieces of music can influence attitude and behaviour and ultimately performance in a wide range of sporting activities.
The real beauty of music however is that we all have our own preferences and taste in music and just listening to your favourite tracks can have positive effects on our mood, outlook and attitude and this can have a knock on effect in our lives in areas such as work, social interaction and family life. This in turn can prove highly beneficial in areas of improved self-esteem, emotional wellbeing, personal development and a healthy lifestyle.
Listen to music and live longer
It seems incredible that music can help you live longer, but research from the Music Making and Wellness Project showed that an important component of the aging process, the human growth hormone (HGH), was influenced by people learning to play musical instruments. This important study across American universities and colleges showed that the natural levels of HGH, which is a key part of holding back aging conditions such as loss of muscle mass and osteoporosis, increased when people participated in lessons for musical instruments.
Many of us listen to music every day but don’t consider just how much we could be benefiting from it. Our aim is to highlight the multitude of health benefits of both listening to music and playing music and to help relate these benefits to a wider society.
Sunbeam's Music Trust
Sunbeam’s wonderful music for health projects aimed at older beneficiaries.
Health and Wellbeing
A key resource is Education Scotland provides essential information relating to the learning and teaching of health and wellbeing as part of the Curriculum for Excellence.
Music Therapy for Children
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was one of the first NHS hospitals to offer music therapy to children:
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