Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:11:02 +0000
Many years ago, I discovered the soundtrack of the movie Amadeus while flying to South Korea for a conference. For the entire 12-hour non-stop flight, I listened to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s peerless compositions.
Here’s Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, which I am convinced is the music of the spheres. My favorite part begins at the 13:48 mark:
Science has discovered, not surprisingly, that music is good for our health.
1. Playing a musical instrument trains our brain:
College students who had music lessons as children were better able to pick out pitch and other key elements of sound than those who hadn’t. The effects persist even when the music lessons had ended years earlier.
2. Feel-good music is good for our heart:
Researchers at the University of Maryland found that when people listened to music that made them feel good, they had better blood flow, which is good for your heart and blood vessels.
3. Music can help recovery from a stroke:
After a stroke, people who listened daily to their favorite music remembered more, could focus better, and were less depressed and confused than those who hadn’t, one study shows. The reason isn’t clear, but one possibility is that listening to music involves several parts of the brain.
4. Music can help people with Parkinson’s disease better talk and move:
If you have Parkinson’s disease, you may have slurred or unclear speech because of breathing problems or trouble moving your mouth or tongue. Through music therapy, you can learn how to “sing” words and hold single syllables to get better breath support. If you focus on the rhythm of a piece of music, it might help you walk or move better. Music can also slow down your body when it’s overactive.
5. Music makes you smarter:
Music builds reasoning skills and helps children learn and remember. Children who regularly play an instrument or sing are more likely to go to college, and to do well in math, science, and reading.
If your taste is more jazz than classical, here’s a favorite of mine, Estaté by Michel Petrucciani:
So what is your favorite piece of music?