Music Is Good Medicine

May 27, 2020

Music Is Good Medicine

Music is a primal commonality, like breathing, shared by the human species. Whether primitive or advanced, all cultures make music. We sing together, we dance or bounce together, we clap together, and we create rhythm and melody on an endless array of instruments.

At the time of this writing we are in the grips of an unprecedented global pandemic which makes music even more essential to our well being. It is a deep and wide river of comfort and joy that reminds us that, despite our temporary isolation, we are all profoundly connected.

As some of you may know, my mom played bass in a rock band for 30 years. She’s 95 now and still quite the social butterfly, so being suddenly cut off from going out for Cuban coffee every morning and having friends visit really took the wind out of her sails. Her spirit was wilting and fading fast until I thought of getting her some wireless headphones. The first song I played for her was James Brown’s “I Feel Good” and she was transformed…. beaming and singing out loud while I danced in her living room. Music has worked better for her sense of isolation than any pharmaceutical could ever hope to.

Music is as fundamental as language and has often been referred to as the “universal language”. This has now been proven to be so in 2019 research from Harvard University. The human brain and nervous system are literally hard-wired for music. It is woven into the fabric of countless basic needs and reflects thousands of years of neurobiological development. It’s one of humanity’s greatest creative achievements and, as it turns out, this creative force may have serious medical implications as well.

The Alkemi Blog will be devoted to Music as Medicine…. revealing all of the various ways that both listening to and playing music can have a positive impact on your brain and your life. We’ll be covering how we process music, how learning music can impact brain development in children and adults, and how we can use music as a healing modality to improve physical, cognitive and emotional function. We will invite music therapists and academics to share their expertise and personal insights and offer tips for how music can enrich your day to day life whether you play an instrument or not.

We hope this blog will enrich your life and the lives of your friends and family members. This animated Ted Ed talk on music education is a good introduction into the benefits of learning to play an instrument.





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