"Music’s beneficial effects on mental health have been known for thousands of years. Ancient philosophers from Plato to Confucius and the kings of Israel sang the praises of music and used it to help soothe stress. Military bands use music to build confidence and courage. Sporting events provide music to rouse enthusiasm. Schoolchildren use music to memorize their ABCs. Shopping malls play music to entice consumers and keep them in the store. Dentists play music to help calm nervous patients.
– Mental Health, Naturally: The Family Guide to Holistic Care for a Healthy Mind and Body
"Auditory biology is not frozen in time. It’s a moving target. And music education really does seem to enhance communication by strengthening language skills.
– Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences, Neurobiology & Physiology, and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University as well as the principal investigator at the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory
Musical entrainment creates connection both internally and externally which can be seen when watching a whole crowd dance to a live band, or the people around you sobbing at an opera. Science explains this as an aspect of mirror neurons, which are a form of mimicking that can happen emotionally and physically. Maybe a song will give you chills, make you cry, or spontaneously start jamming on an air guitar, or dancing uncontrollably. In the study, The Neuroscience of Music, published by the Department of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal, researchers found preliminary scientific evidence supporting claims that music influences health through neurochemical changes in four domains: reward, motivation and pleasure; stress and arousal; immunity; and social affiliation.
"The potential therapeutic effects of music listening have been largely attributed to its ability to reduce stress and modulate arousal levels. Listening to ‘relaxing music’ (generally considered to have slow tempo, low pitch, and no lyrics) has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety in healthy subjects, patients undergoing invasive medical procedures (e.g., surgery, colonoscopy, dental procedures, pediatric patients undergoing medical procedures, and patients with coronary heart disease.
– The Neurochemistry of Music
It is no surprise that music has been used in ritual and ceremony since the beginning of time. Women share playlists for the delivery room to welcome new life. You can even higher a hospice harpist to help the transition from a terminal disease. Music education has also been shown to help children’s developing brains. So it is only natural to place it in a category for mindfulness, meditation, and healing.
"Music is a language of energy, a “vibe” of emotions and joy. It speaks to our core desires and feelings. It speaks to our core desires and feelings. It spans language barriers and political borders, making it a powerful means through which humans can connect.
– Patrick Groneman