The Power of Music – It’s Real
We all know that music is a powerful thing. People identify with certain genres and artists, and it becomes a part of their identity, one of the ways in which one defines who he/she is. Similar musical interests provide a good topic for conversation and in a much bigger scale, without regard to similar interest, it has the power to bring people together. Music heightens emotions, and even helps some people cope with situations better. In my opinion, sad songs are more powerful, and able to evoke more emotion than happy songs. Music is so emotionally powerful that it can even, unexpectedly, bring back old, painful memories, that can bring a person to tears.
Apart from what we feel ourselves when listening to music, there have been studies published on the effects that music has in our brains. You can look up articles that talk about how scientists have found that music stimulates more parts of the brain that any other human function. It comes to no surprise then, that there is such a thing as Music Therapy. This show the power of music in a whole different way.
The Power of Music – The Book
One very impressive finding was that music has the potential to help stroke patients who have lost their ability to speak. The technique used is called, Melodic Intonation, and uses music to coax portions of the brain into taking over for the parts that have been damaged. In some cases, this is able to help patients regain their ability to speak. You can read more about these things in a book by, Elena Mannes, which also happens to be called, The Power of Music.
While music can be a powerful tool in certain therapies, again, don’t discount the fact that it is also able to help people get through the trials and tribulations of life, and those songs don’t have to be classical or baroque. While that may suit some people’s taste, the average person only needs to listen to their favorite songs in order to feel good, whether it be to feel better during a sad moment, stress relief, or even just because you feel happy and you feel the need to listen to some upbeat songs. Again, more in depth information on the studied effects of music can be found in Mannes book.
Music is a part of every person’s life in one way or another. It serves purposes beyond what we just see as entertainment and that is why it is so powerful. One only need look at the psychological applications to see one example of how powerful music can be beyond its initial purpose as entertainment. As the philosopher Nietzsche said, “without music, life would be a mistake.”
Following, is a sample playlist of repertoire used in a Music Therapy session with autistic children from a descriptive analysis published by Michael J. Silverman. Different types of songs are used in different treatment areas. In the report, the following few samples are categorized under the treatment area of Perceptual/Motor.
My name is Angel Torres, I am a Music Studies major with a minor in Music Management and I hope to work at a record label after I graduate.