People all around the world love music and listen to it in order to relax or have to fun. Whether listening to some soothing classical music to unwind and take it easy or attending a rock concert to dance and have a good time, the therapeutic elements of music are usually quite evident. As a natural way to relax or release stress through self-expression music is excellent, but the considered use of music can actually also have preventative and restorative qualities for the listener.
Music helps people of all ages with various ailments and concerns to develop a very effective way of overcoming certain difficulties that are associated with a particular type of illness. For example, someone with learning difficulties can listen to a song and its lyrics until it becomes familiar, as this can be useful for teaching the individual colors, numbers, or any other educational subject through the content of the lyrics. This kind of approach can potentially improve the vocabulary of the individual, as well as stretching the concentration span of the listener as they must listen further and further into the song in order to learn the structure and lyrics.
Listening to music is great fun, but playing music is far more fun, and learning to simply make a noise on a drum will help to significantly improve coordination and motor skills. To take this one step further would be to allow a group of people to play their chosen instruments simultaneously. This in effect becomes a free spirited improvised musical experience that has many varied developmental benefits for the participating individuals. This form of musical experience is known to improve social skills and communication ability. Having a “freestyle jam” involves increases in interaction and self-expression, both of which are proven to help many people overcome confidence and acceptance issues.
A study is presently in effect at Goteborg University to ascertain whether a treatment program using rhythm based music will have any restorative or preventative effect on sufferers of strokes. Research is currently being carried out that suggests that the use of music can help to speed up the recovery period for the stroke victim, and the study aims to back this up with scientific research and results. The procedure of using music to rehabilitate a patient is already in popular practice, but this study aims to define which specific changes register a response to several different tests.
It is not necessary to have any musical knowledge to participate in the playing of instruments as a way of increasing confidence or any other reason. For those who simply need to relax, listening to slow rhythmical music with soft tones and sparse sounds is a good way to take a break from the hectic path of life. Music is not the only way to have an intense five minute period of relaxation, as many people find that listening to the scattered sounds of the countryside or maybe even listening to whale song has the correct ambient feeling to aid in stress relief.
-Mark A Whitmore