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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Music Therapy

You might ask why I always write about music?  I am a firm believer in it being therapeutic.  I decided to do a little research on the topic.  At first I could only find research on the benefits of playing music; as I have written about in previous posts I'm not talented in that department.  I did though find an article on about a study on how music effects the brain.  I know I am a nerd! 

Levitin and colleagues' findings are published in the journal 'Trends in Cognitive Science' if you are a nerd like me and would enjoy some light reading.  They published a meta-analysis of 400 studies suggesting physiological benefits to listening to music.  Their study on the relationship between anxiety and listening to music was done on patients about to go under surgery.  The patients were either given anti-anxiety medication or assigned to listen to music.  The scientists then tracked the patients level of the stress hormone cortisol and the patient's rating on their own anxiety level.

This was only one study but it did show that the patient's who were assigned to listen to music had lower cortisol and anxiety levels.  So my enjoyment of music might be beneficial to my mental health.  Now if only my insurance would pay my iTunes bills and for me to attend concerts I would be set. 

For me it has been an awesome week for music.  I got tickets to the Gentlemen of the Road stopover in Waverly, IA to see my all time favorite band Mumford and Son's!  They also released their first song off their upcoming album Wilder Mind.  I am not going to lie I was very nervous after hearing that they had ditched the banjos and gone for an electric sound.  My worry was for nothing, if the rest of the songs are even half as good as Believe I am sold.  I wanted to just drive around on Wednesday listening to the song and singing at the top of my lungs. 

After purchasing the tickets for the Waverly Stopover I decided to check out the other bands.  A few of them I had heard of but other than the Flaming Lips I did not own any music from the other artists.  The first artist that has joined my music library is Jenny Lewis.  I remember seeing a music video of hers in the past because it featured some A-list celebrities but had never taken the time to check out her music.  Well she has won me as a fan, her songs She's Not Me and Just One of the Boy's have instantly become favorites of mine.  I'm looking forward to getting to know the other artist over the next three months.

As I said it has been a big week, I am also attending a concert on Saturday for a band I just recently discovered on accident.  I have the app Shazam on my phone and was recently somewhere and really enjoyed a song - when I used the app it popped up as the song Shadow of a Man by the band Neulore.  I have never heard of the band but when I went and looked it up realized they were playing at a venue close to me this weekend.  I am all up for new music so a friend and me will be checking them out on Saturday at 7th Street Entry part of First Ave, located in Minneapolis, MN.  I'm excited to let everyone know how it is.