Q: When my kids get in the car, they immediately mess with the music that is playing, tuning in whatever they want to play (some ask first). Is there a correlation between what they are listening to and the mood they are in and if so how can I take advantage of that? …………………..a happy mom
A: Many recent studies confirm what mothers have know for years, music does make a difference to the quality of your life, the kids lives, and in relationships in general. Music is a great mood regulator. Loud, upbeat music generally has a stimulating effect while slow music can act as a sedative.
Music actually changes the way parts of your brain work, touching the feel good part of the brain as well as the decision making part of the brain.
There is marked improvement in healing when using music as part of therapy. Health professionals are tapping into this knowledge, “it’s the music’s rhythm, melody and tonal quality that puts patients in that special place where healing can be achieved faster.” For example, Harvard researchers have discovered that certain rhythms, such as harp music, can cause your heart to beat more regularly. Studies in the 1990’s concluded that music significantly lowered the heart rates and calmed and regulated the blood pressures and respiration rates of patients who had undergone surgery.
Music therapy has also been shown to boost your immune system, improve mental focus, help control pain, create feelings of well-being, improve motor skills of those suffering from strokes, reduce anxiety and depression. The researcher’s findings suggested the importance of using music therapy for pregnant women, to reduce depression, anxiety and stress for the mother as well as benefits for the baby. Neonatal studies show the entrainment occurring when parents sing lullabies to the infant enhances bonding, decreases stress, changed the heart rates and improved the sucking response. Something else mothers already knew and research just confirmed.
Using music when you work out helps to increase your flow, last longer and be stronger. Music playing in restaurants directly effects what and how much you drink. When you are listening to music it messes with your sense of time—think of the on hold music on the phone, it is designed to make you think you waited less time.
It turns out that studying music from a very early age gives you an advantage when it comes to perceiving the emotions of others. People who play instruments at near professional levels can detect subtle changes in the intonations in the vocal tones of others. They know whether you are sad even if you say you’re fine. Also the fact that they studied music makes them better able to screen out the background noise and they are better able to pay attention to what you are saying.
Encourage your children’s interest in music, especially learning an instrument. Eventually they may even learn to appreciate the years you put up with missed notes, screeching strings and never ending Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.