Friday, August 7, 2009

Music for the soul

What kind of music do you listen to? I have often found solace in music. I am not only referring to gospel music. If you were to switch on the radio after midnight to FM 90.5, you will know what kind of music I am referring to. I believe that after midnight, there is no disc jockey (commonly known as "DJ" for short) on duty and what is being broadcast are pre-recorded songs. But, oh, what beautiful songs! It is simply relaxing to listen to them.

It can be very therapeutic listening to music. In fact, music therapy is now an established health service similar to occupational therapy and physical therapy. The use of music aids is believed to aid in pain relief, anxiety and stress reduction and positive changes in both mood and emotional state. Have you ever found yourself calming down as you listen to relaxing and soothing music?

Music has a profound effect on your body and psyche. In fact, increasingly, music is used in health care to heal. Music seems to help cancer patients, children with attention deficit problems and others. Even hospitals are beginning to use music and music therapy to help with pain management, to help ward off depression, to promote movement, to calm patients, to ease muscle tension, and for many other benefits that music and music therapy can bring. Music affects the body and mind in many powerful ways. A home that is full of music and laughter is a happy household.

How many times have you listened to your radio, MP3 player or ipod and caught yourself singing along or tapping your feet to the beat of the music? Music uplifts our soul and brings us peace. Singing worship music (regardless of the religion) can bring us to a deeper level of intimacy with and love for the one that we worship.

Studies show that music affects portions of the brain. Part of music therapy is the ability of music to affect emotions and social interactions. This is why some of us can cry when listening to moving music and in particular, songs of worship. I have more than once caught myself with tears streaming down my face uncontrollably as I sing songs of praise to our Lord Jesus Christ in church, especially songs that worship how beautiful our Saviour is and how much He loves us.

Music may be used for artistic, aesthetic, communicative, entertainment or ceremonial purposes. The definition of what constitutes music varies according to culture and social context. In certain tribes, music instruments are even crudely made from wood or everyday household items, but they make the most beautiful music.

It is also believed that music can bring bring many other benefits, such as lowering blood pressure (which can also reduce the risk of stroke and other health problems over time), boost immunity, ease muscle tension and more. We are often encouraged to have "me" time when we switch off the lights in a room and listen to soothing and uplifting music.

Other than therapeutic uses, music is often used in the movie industry. Can you imagine an epic movie like "Lord of the Rings" without music in the background? Much of the effect would be lost!

Interestingly enough, I remember reading in the newspapers a few years ago that at the Kranji Columbaria, classical music is played all day!

My brothers and I grew up listening to oldies, country & western music and classical music. I remember that when my youngest brother was in school, his teacher was surprised that he knew the lyrics to an oldie.

If music be the food of love, play on!


No comments:

Blog Widget by LinkWithin