By Amy McCollom
If your life was a movie right now, what would be the song playing in the background? Would it be a song of courage and hope, of peace and love, of fear and anguish, of drama and anger? What we hear has a direct effect on how we feel.
Everyone knows the Star Wars theme. Doesn’t it make your adrenaline rush just a bit? What about the Emperor’s March, when Darth Vader marches down the halls of the death star with his white-clad soldiers close behind? Puts a deep thud of dread in your stomach, doesn’t it. And on Indiana Jones, when Indy starts to win against the bad guys and the action gets going, that uplifting anthem of exciting hope is unmistakable! Duh, du-du duhhhhh! Duh, du-duhh! Duh, du-du duhhh! Duh, du-duhh duhh duhhhh!
In 1976, when Rocky Balboa fought Apollo Creed in the very first Rocky movie, who can forget that tremendous climatic final scene and anthem song, “Gonna Fly Now?” My husband, who was just a thirteen-year-old boy then, said that he and his friend felt so good after the movie that they ran all the way home.
Music affects us. It has been proven again and again in science and nature itself. Sound and noise make the body respond in ways both good and bad. Fortunately, we are able to control some of the sounds and noise we experience by choosing what we allow to be in our environment.
Music can help physically and mentally, as Dawn Kent wrote in her thesis at Harvard University entitled, “The Effect of Music on the Human Body and Mind. She claims that even back in the days of Plato, music has been used to relieve stress and anxiety, and “It inhibits the occurrence of fatigue, as well as changes the pulse and respiration rates, external blood pressure levels and psychogalvanic effect.” In the Bible it is recorded in I Samuel 16:14-23 that King Saul called for a talented harp player, David, to come and play music for him and it soothed his tormented soul every time.
It has been studied and said that music can affect someone’s romantic life as well, by increasing their serotonin level. Certain music can even help you exercise better. A study has shown that some songs helped bike peddlers use 7 percent less oxygen and reach goal heart rates of 145 bpm. Those songs were Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Spoon’s “Don’t Make Me a Target” and the Beach Boys’ “Do You Wanna Dance.”
Did you know that it is good for you to sing? It helps keep your brain functionality healthy. It is especially good for you if you are older and suffer from any type of lung disease or disorder. It helps improve respiration in patients with chronic breathing disorders.
In a study at Wilkes University, students who listened to soothing music for 30 minutes a day, were found to have a greater amount of immune boosting IgA antibody in their blood than the other 2 control groups. Thus showing that soothing music can boost your immune system.
So just turn off the news already. Don’t watch it 24/7. Once a day is enough to get the facts or just read it online. We all need to relax at this time and not panic or fret. That will only break down our immune systems even faster. Exercise, eat healthy, and listen to upbeat, or soothing music.
Better yet, learn how to play upbeat and soothing music. Learning to play a musical instrument uses both the left and right sides of your brain and boosts memory power. Learning how to play also produces patience and perseverance as you enter a new dimension of learning with both body and mind acting together. It also increases the immune system, time management skills, and memory capabilities. It also increases your self-confidence as you get better and better each time you practice.
There is no better time than the present to learn a new instrument. Time is precious. Spend it wisely.
So I ask you again; what is your background music? We become what we surround ourselves with. Choose wisely.