Written by staff member Thomas Waverly
If there was only one thing that we as human beings could agree on, across cultures, generations, and geography, is that music is essential to individual and collective life. A soothing melody, a thumping beat, and a beautiful voice are all elements of the sounds that have the ability to transform any experience. Music is more than just about listening to what’s most popular now but has the potential to be the catalyst you need to develop sustainable relationships with yourself and the world around you. Decades of research on music and its ability to act as a conduit to psychological and physical therapy confirm time and time again how powerful all kinds of music can be.
Below is a snapshot of four reasons that we don’t need to underestimate just how strong that power can be:
Music Helps To Improve Your Focus
The continued advancement of technology and intuitive mobile devices make it that much easier for us to gain access to a countless trove of information in the palm of our hands. From peer-reviewed research to the latest trending viral content, we have the potential to consume more information than our minds could ever be able to manage. Our minds are constantly abuzz with the endless data needed to process to get through each day, leaving us wired, tired, and increasingly unable to pinpoint one set of information at a time.
Many of us have an issue with focus, especially when it comes to pursuing academic and professional advancements that rely on keen attention to detail for the most accurate completion of tasks. There is a slew of techniques and remedies that claim to be the surefire way to keep focused on the most important task in front of you, one of which is incorporating music while you work. According to Dr. Masha Godkin of Northcentral University listening to music activates both the left and right brain simultaneously, which can maximize learning.
One genre that works particularly well, whether we explicitly enjoy it or not, is classical music. The lack of lyrics and harsh beats to distract you creates an atmosphere of clarity that will help you to successfully complete any task.
Music To Ease Anxiety
Do you know those occasions where your palms get unnecessarily sweaty, your heart pounds erratically as if it’s getting ready to long-jump right out of your chest cavity, and your eyes begin glazing over from your mind running a thousand thoughts-per-minute? Yeah, well, that’s most likely an experience of intense anxiety that can make a significant impact on both your mental and physical wellbeing.
There are a number of anxiety-reduction tools, both free and paid, but one of the most accessible solutions is closer than you think. No doubt that you have your favorite songs already on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, and they just might be the calming trigger you need to reduce your psychosomatic symptoms of anxiety.
Numerous studies have found that music, especially sounds that you find to be pleasing, has a positive correlation with the reduction of feelings of stress, anxiety, and panic. A 2013 study that focused on how patient-directed music listening would affect anxiety levels during ventilatory support, found that patients who initiated music-listening during their treatment experienced a significant reduction in levels of anxiety in comparison with the usual treatment experience.
Music To Make Real-World Connections
Social media platforms spring up dozens at a time, all promising us to be the next biggest thing in urging social interactions. The truth is that the opposite may be more likely. A 2017 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined social media use and perceived isolation of young adults across the United States, and found a significant correlation between a high use of social media and the level of perceived isolation.
Music is a universal language that has the power to bring people together, yet we’re just not connecting in the ways that we really need to. The main motivation for Candace Chen, the founder of Novako Music, https://kickstarter.novakomusic.com/, the startup behind the creation of Ava Ukulele, is making a contribution to the world of music that will help us all pull back from the grips of the isolating digital age that we exist in.
Ukuleles are typically considered one of the easiest instruments to learn, and could be considered what some may call a “gateway instrument”, however, traveling with one is characterized by space constraints and broken parts. Ava has a unique design that not only increases the level of portability but retains a crisp, clear sound that will undoubtedly give you the opportunity to connect with both strangers and friends whenever you want, all tied to the power of the melodies. People are inspired to travel far, experience wide, and share music with others with simple, yet transformative jam sessions.
Music To Increase Physical Activity
There’s a reason why many of us can’t fathom heading to the gym or going for a run without your favorite pumped-up playlist to accompany us. There’s just something about listening to a heavy bassline and a sweet harmony while pushing your body (within reasonable limits) to all that it is capable of doing. Not only does music create a distraction from being hyper-focused on fatigue and discomfort, it also elevates your mood and motivates you to endure your workout for just a bit longer. Going as far as to be called “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug” by a leading expert on the psychology of exercise music, the right kind of music, ones that are sure to evoke certain emotions and memories from you, can be the force you need to keep your movement going.
Music has the power to weave itself into every aspect of our lives. From individual experiences with stress and anxiety to using it as a cord to make connections with others, music is a consistent, surefire way to make this experience called life a little bit easier to handle.