Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Meditations on Music

While we are thinking about music, take a look at how certain types of music affect us. Are you aware of how you feel after listening to certian types of music? Have you noticed how certain sounds feel very uplifting, and others leave you feeling chaotic and out of sorts?

Back after WW2, when therapists were working with veterans who had brain damage, they discovered an interesting fact. Those who had lost the ability to speak were still able to sing along with familiar songs. What that revealed to them was that spoken language was stored in a different part of the brain than lyrics contained in music.

That is part of the reason why music can be healing. Singing can be soothing and comforting even if other parts of our thought process are disturbed and we are anxious, stressed, injured or ill.

This same fact allows music teachers to use vocal sounds to help people remember patterns of instrumental sounds. People learning to drum, for instance, practice by using vocal sounds to help them practice beat patterns. People learning an instrument like guitar, flute or piano can find the right notes to play if they remember how a song or melody goes in their head. In other words, musical memories can help guide the body.

Even though music and life have become ever more technological and complex, the simplest forms of music are still very powerful tools.

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