One of the pleasures and necessities of the Simple Life is music. Music in our daily mundane tasks (that all of us have). Sometimes it is intentional, like switching on worship music, sometimes it is background, like the turtle doves or the wind in the trees. Almost every day it is the music coming from the kids practising their musical instruments. What is it about music that can woo us, enchant us and totally captivate us through all the known ages?
In “The Body Keeps the Score”, Bessel van der Kolk talks about music as a therapeutic tool. He has more than 30 years experience as a trauma therapist and one of his most successful tools is music. From the severest cases of trauma has benefited greatly from music as a trauma healing tool.
In Venezuela a program was developed, called EL Sistema. It is now widely used in a number of other nations in the world. It uses the orchestra and orchestral music as a reliever of trauma. It integrates marginalised people into society. Fosters a feeling of belonging, relieves stress and tension, brings purpose and help people take responsibility for their small part.
In America, extensive work has been done with the affect of music and music therapy on prem-babies and babies in incubators. The babies that are exposed to music therapy has much, much better oxygen saturation levels than that of babies where no music therapy is used. The percentage of oxygen that the music therapy babies need during, and for 3 days after a therapy session, is substantially lower. On average these babies can go home 2 weeks earlier than the babies without music therapy exposure. They started using music on the babies for a different reason. Prem-babies often start to associate touch with pain, because they are exposed to needles, frequent tests and poking which they come to associate with pain. Therapists started to use music as a calming tool, to take their attention off the “medical work” that needs to happen. Apart from calming the babies, they noticed a measurable and astonishing improvement in health, growth and general well-being.
We played the Motzart baby CDs for our kids during pregnancy. It works on the Alpha brain waves and normalise blood pressure, calms stress response and improves brain development in the unborn babies. I wouldn’t know if it did anything for our kids, but it certainly was soothing for the pregnant mommy.
Music is known to change mood and enhances mental clarity, emotional well-being and also physical health. I always encourage our kids to listen to the words of songs, though. I do not believe that listening to a suicidal person signing about his plan to commit suicide, or a singer trying to convey the idea that snorting or shooting up a mind altering drug is a cool idea or is helpful at all. So, as with anything in life – THINK! Discernment is always needed.
So, instead of going on a shopping spree, or an electronic games binge, rather sing. Sing. Sing. Do your own karaoke with the radio or YouTube. Reward yourself with new music, rather than the bottle of alcohol that will make you feel guilty later. 2019 is half way, we made it this far – and it is cold – so, let’s SING!