I am sure you will agree that not only do we want to be physically healthy, we want to be emotionally and mentally healthy as well. Our guest today shares the health benefits of music. Andrea May has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and is a music educator. She is passionate about teaching and has taught students of all ages both publicly and privately. Her passion also includes playing music. She has been playing music since she was 8 years old and plays both the piano and the saxophone!

In Andrea May’s words,”I believe that education in music is most sovereign, and I believe that everyone who learns music will reap its benefits. Have you ever felt stressed, depressed, sad, or angry and then turned on some music, and immediately as you listened, your stress, depression, sadness, or anger left? Have you ever wondered why? Research at Stanford has shown that music stimulates brainwaves. Music with fast tempos can help with concentration and alertness. Music with slow tempos can help someone feel calm. Music can also relieve and prevent stress, lower your heart rate, slow your breathing, help you to relax, and give you a positive state of mind.Today, there are two types of music therapy that are being used to help promote health. These two types of therapy are Music Therapy, which uses music to heal, and The Mozart Effect, which uses music to help increase I.Q. A discussion of each type of therapy follows:

Music Therapy

Music Therapy helps to manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication, and promote wellness. How does Music Therapy work? A Music Therapist will meet with individuals or groups in hospitals or clinics to assess the patient’s emotional well-being, physical health, social function, ability to communicate, and cognitive skills through musical responses. Music therapists will use music improvisation, performance, writing, and imagery to treat their patients. Does Music Therapy work? So far, Music Therapy has been used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and psychoneuroimmunoloyis (PNI) as a “biological medical model” because it has been so effective.

The Mozart Effect

A second music therapy is called The Mozart Effect, first coined by a French researcher Alfred A. Tomatis. According to Tomatis, by listening to Mozart’s music, a person can help to improve certain “metal tasks known as spatio-temporal reasoning. Studies have found that students who listen to Mozart have temporarily increased I.Q scores 8-9 points.

Does the Mozart Effect work? There was a study done in 1993 by Rauscher and Shaw. In the experiment, Rauscher and Shaw asked students to listen to Mozart while taking a spatial reasoning test. Rauscher and Shaw found that temporally (no longer than 15 minutes) the students’ I.Qs also increased 8-9 points.

Can music therapy work for you?

Try to use music in your own self-therapy. Next time you are feeling a little stressed or down, try listening to relaxing music, and see what affect it has on you. In addition, experiment with some Mozart music while you are reading a book or working a puzzle, and see if your concentration increases. Music therapy may make a difference in your life!

To read about the importance of educating your children in music visit my post, 10 Reasons Why Children Should Learn Music.”

Andrea May has set her sights on teaching children music and she has a website dedicated for this very purpose, please take the time to visit her site Munchkins and Music, I have learned so much!