Music and Wellness Essay

Submitted By Graceof3
Words: 2943
Pages: 12

Music and Wellness
Waynesburg University
MUS 195 Portfolio Submission
Music and Wellness
Music has always been an important part of my life. In this paper I will discuss the use of music for health and wellness using examples from my life experiences and information from a case study as well as other evidence based research and text books. I will discuss music and its cultural influence as well as rhythm and movement. I will explain my perception of how the absence of music would affect my life. Finally, I will discuss how I use my knowledge and understanding of music as I provide patient care in my role as a nurse.
“Music is one of the oldest forms of preventive medicine known to humanity” (Stevens, 2012). The role and value of music in a civilized society depend greatly on the culture you are observing. “Music is woven into the fabric of life in many music cultures; it is an essential medicine for creating joy, gathering community, generating hope, freeing the spirit, communing with Spirit, and educating the children” (Stevens, 2012). In an original research study conducted in Hong Kong, the quality of life of community-dwelling older Chinese people was studied. A study of 66 people (31 in music group and 35 in control group), aged 65 to 90 years over a four week period, indicated that statistically the quality of life improved significantly in the music group as opposed to the control group. “Older people’s health perceptions and their views about health have been shown to affect their management of illness, which may in turn directly affect their health status”, (Lee,Yin Yi 2010). Many cultures thrive on music. It is in the very fibers of their being. Whether or not one grows up in a culture that is musically active, we all have a connection with music either positive or negative. Culture can be a basis for diverse reactions to various musical types. There may be limitations to what the culture will allow. Music is not only an artistic experience but it may also serve as a means for evolving one’s own identity. My personal musical experiences have varied over the years. As a teenager, I listened to a variety of music such as pop, a little heavy metal, and rock. As I got older, my music taste changed. I began listening to country and Christian music and my desire to listen to heavy metal is non-existent. While vacationing in the Bahamas this summer, I was able to experience the uplifting music of the culture. As we were exiting the ship, the sound of the steel drums filled the air. Some of the children of the island were gathered around and singing and dancing. The music is very pleasing to me and filled me with joy. Not all genres of music are for everyone. That is why there is such a vast variety of styles. Culture has the ability to drive the type of style that individuals are exposed to and can make someone bias to what type of music they like.
Rhythm and melody play a key role in the medicine of music. According to Stevens, “In rhythm, we find that drumming turns off the thinking mind and allows us to feel the primal knowledge in our bodies. In melody, we find that sounding our deep emotions transforms pain and despair and helps heal the heart” (p.7). Just as music has a rhythm, our bodies work in a rhythmic way. Our heartbeat, breathing, walking and rocking all happen in rhythmic motion. While there have been many studies on music and heart rate, there are few that show statistical significance in reducing heart rate. According to a Cochrane review on Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients, the author Dileo states, “Music listening may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, anxiety, and pain in persons with CHD” (p. 4). When I listen to music, the rhythm is what motivates me. When I exercise or clean my home, I like to listen to music with a faster rhythm so I am motivated to move faster and my heart rate