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This is my senior project research paper on how music can help with mental illnesses and education in general.
5 October 2016
Musical Mental Health
On the topic of mental health, there are various studies for solutions to improve the conditions and improve the mind. Unlike the olden times when locking up any person who seemed out of the ordinary was casual, society now has the resources to help these mental disorders. Therapists, psychiatrists, and medication are just a few of the ways to help with mental health. However, there is yet another way to aid the mind that is unsung compared to the others. Music can have a positive effect on a person’s mind. This impacts depression, stress and anxiety, Parkinson’s, and has been seen to improve intelligence.
The most common problem with mental health is depression. In America,6.7% of adults alone experienced a depression episode in 2014. That is roughly 15.7 million adults. For a person experiencing depression, one could turn to music as a way to help. When listening to music, music or sound moves the listener to another place of mind. Listening to sad music can make a person feel sad, listening to hype type music can make one feel energized. It is participating in this music that can help people feel a certain way. To quote Maratos, "We find ourselves tapping our foot along to a song on the radio or being dissatisfied by a piece that does not finish as we expect." ( Maratos et al.). Supporting the participation in music, Maratos further speaks that getting physical with music, and even emotional, can make a person feel a different way. Secondly, relating to the music is another way for a personto deal with depression. A person is able to do this by melody, rhythmic catch, and harmonic progression. According to Maratos, "these all naturally engage people in active participation (and hence meaning-making) in ways that words may simply not be able to." ( Maratos et al.) Music is clearly able to help with those who listen to it. With depression on someone's shoulders, music is a quick way to help.
A second illness that has been proven to help by the means of music is Parkinson's. Parkinson's is a disorder that affects nerves and a person's movement. This can be very inconvenient and a burden. However, there are ways to better the situation. Music, at the source is based on sound and vibration. A method of helping is found in vibration. A study done in 2009 on fourty patients support this idea/ Having done vibroacoustic therapy on these people, the results included "less rigidity and better walking speed with bigger steps and reduced tremors." (Novotney). Deep vibration in this experiment is dealing thalamocortical dysrhythmia, which plays a large role in the Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. Bartel, the director of the examination, states that the vibrations help stabilize the disorientation. A second study that Bartel has run shows great potential of helping Alzheimer patients through music. In this study a patient who had just been diagnosed with the disease, underwent the treatment of the vibrations. According to Novotney, "After stimulating her with 40-hertz sound for 30 minutes three times a week for four weeks, she could recall the names of her grandchildren more easily, and her husband reported good improvement in her condition." (Novotney). It is astonishing that being exposed to the core of music and vibrations, helped the lady remember things about herself.
Furthermore, music has long been an outlet for emotions. When talking about stress and anxiety, this is very relevant. Anxiety hits people at different times, such as before surgery. Novotney reports that, "Listening to music was also found to be more effective than prescription drugs in reducing anxiety before surgery" (Novotney). Although that is an incredibly strong statement, it is not hard to believe. Music is said to be able to reduce the levels of the hormone cortisol, which is found when a person is stressed. With forty-three children, ages three to eleven, University of Alberta held a trial to test the effects of music during stress. One group would be listening to relaxing music while an IV was inserted, while another group would not listen to music. The results favored the group listening music stating, "in the music-listening group, more than two-thirds of the health-care providers reported that the IVs were very easy to administer" (Novotney). However, only thirty eight percent of the group who did not listen to music did not cause distress to the nurses. Facing a needle being put into children’s arms is a very stressful time for a person of their age. This evidence shows that music can help a person who is facing stress.
While not a illness or disease, intelligence is still part of mental health. Education has been known to improve when music is some how involved. Musician’s brains are said to work harder. A study to support this was done by Ellen Winner of Boston College. After children had been taking musical instructions and practice, they had been said to have" improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks, and brain imaging showed changes to the networks in the brain associated with those abilities" (Brown). This further supports that music can positively influence the brain and its intelligence. Secondly, those who have had superior musical education in elementary school have shown higher test scores. Although economic status seems to play a role in this Johnson, a professor at the University of Kansas, believes it does not involve that. "Johnson compares the concentration that music training requires to the focus needed to perform well on a standardized test" (Brown). Having taken music classes allows for more concentration, increasing test scores. Music has an impact on intelligence through improved test scores and allowing one to further develop their brain.
In conclusion, music is helpful to mental health in various ways, from illnesses to just bettering one’s brain. Music allows for improvement. Helping depression, anxiety and stress, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease is a sure sign of the good music can have. Music allows for the current generation and the future generations a more effective life. Music has a clear positive effect on people and their mental health.
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McRae 1hree children, ages three to eleven, University of Alberta held a trial to test the effects of music during stress. One group would be listening