I love music. Singing relaxes, and dancing rejuvenates me. I would rather sing or dance to de-stress than do anything else. Listening to music is the next best thing. And my experience with music is far from singular. Music has been long known to inspire emotions and actions. For some people, music is particularly beneficial. And there is medical research evidence to show this.
Prof. Michael Thorne, vice-chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in the UK, who was recently in India to set up a master of arts (MA) programme in music therapy, writes in an email interview that for some people “activities such as singing in choirs and playing in orchestras have health benefits similar to the way that sports and other leisure activities do”.
Music is known to reduce stress and enhance your sense of well-being, but just how effective is it in doing that?
Prof. Thorne says, “Music psychology literature and research shows that tailor-made music-listening programmes can help to reduce stress but the type of music must relate to the individual’s needs and tastes.” In other words, for music to do its thing, it should be the kind of music that affects you positively and should be the kind that either relaxes or energizes you.
Bangalore-based Namrata Baruah, 30, an advertising professional and a singer/songwriter, enjoys classical music because it relaxes her. She says long work hours and pressure often take a toll on her health, but singing and listening to classical music relaxes her and improves her overall health.Read More
Sujata Kelkar Shetty, PhD, writes on public health issues and is a research scientist trained at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, US.