While many perceive music as a mere collection of melodies and harmonies that uplift our spirits and enhance our connection to the world, research suggests its impact goes far beyond the emotional realm. Music plays a fundamental role in our society and has profound effects on our brain’s neural pathways.
Some of the significant effects of music on the human brain include:
Regulating and stabilizing heart rate
Reducing blood pressure
Providing comfort to patients undergoing surgery, and aiding recovery in heart attack and stroke victims
However, these clinical explanations alone cannot the capture the full scope of music’s influence on our minds and lives.
Experts assert that social isolation can heighten cardiac risk, yet Robert Browning poetically claimed that “he who hears music feels his solitude peopled all at once.” Psychology reveals that expressing emotions through music is beneficial, while Tolstoy eloquently stated that “music is the shorthand of emotion.” Doctors emphasize the healing power of human warmth, and Shakespeare famously declared, “if music be the food of love, play on.”
Music’s impact extends beyond clinical findings and resonates deeply within our emotions, relationships, and overall well-being. Its ability to touch our hearts and minds elevates its significance in our lives, transcending the boundaries of science and entering the realm of art and soulful expression.
Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes, we all need a little help navigating our emotions. One of the most effective and universal tools to aid us during tough times is music. With its unique ability to express feelings, alter moods, and facilitate healing, music has the potential to be a transformative force in our lives.
Unleashing Emotions through Melodies:
At times, we find ourselves overwhelmed by a whirlwind of emotions. Music can serve as an incredible outlet to channel and process these feelings. Composing melodies, playing an instrument, or simply listening to music that resonates with our current emotional state can be cathartic. Engaging with music allows us to process our emotions until they lessen or dissipate entirely. Even something as simple as a basic chord progression can be calming, helping us reflect and distance ourselves from challenging situations.
Mood Shifts and Musical Power:
Music can uniquely evoke a wide range of moods and emotions. As such, it’s essential to be mindful of the music we engage with so as not to exacerbate negative feelings inadvertently. While it’s natural to turn to sad tunes when feeling down, it’s equally essential to shift towards uplifting, joyful melodies once we’ve processed those emotions. This conscious shift in musical tone can profoundly impact our emotional well-being.
Music, though not a substitute for professional therapy or spiritual practices, can still play a significant role in fostering emotional healing. By bringing peace and tranquillity into our lives, music can complement other therapeutic methods, such as talking to someone or engaging in mindfulness practices. As a versatile and powerful tool, music has the potential to help us better understand and express our innermost emotions.
Music offers an incredible opportunity for emotional exploration and healing. Whether it’s composing, playing an instrument, or listening to our favourite songs, engaging with music can help us better process our emotions and navigate life’s challenges. Embracing the power of music can lead to a more balanced and emotionally resilient life.
I’d just designed a learning programmed based on aural training and was thinking how to teach a person who does not have perfect pitch how to reconised intervals and chords. I’d really had to think about this, because for me, it’s as simple as knowing the notes that makes up a chord, knowing how a major minor or dimined chord is composed and then knowing what the chord is. It’s a logical thing for me. So how to teach some one who can’t tell what the notes are is something that’ll be interesting to try during my teaching.
I know that each chord has it’s own colour or sound to it. Major short are sharp and happy and bright, quite bouncy. Minor chords sound heavy, sad, and diminied chords sound incomplete and uncomplete. Intervals are similar in some ways. A perfect fifth or octave sounds quite hollow and naked, like there should be more. a major third sounds really close and pleasing to the ear, and a major sixth sounds pleasing but more spread out. Also intervals can be worked out from the chromatic scale, but unless you know the notes, that could be hard to work out.
For me though, it’s a highly logical process but I do use the above with out even I think.
On another note, I’d discovered that modern piano isn’t really my thing. I can get by if I need too, and I can play hymns etc in that style, and probably work out a modern christian song if I needed. But creating and imprvising in that context just isn’t me. It’s too lose for me, I need structure. Also, as far as emotions go, I am more in tune with classical music, such as Bach and Beethoven.
Playing the piano is a very physical activity, more than a lot of people realise. I have to remind myself and work on constantly relaxing and playing with no tension. There are a variety of factors that can affect the quality of my playing. One of the biggest is the variation in temperature. On a cold day like today, and the fact that I am just over the flu, my hands were freezing! Even after trying to warm up for half an hour, my hands were cold. They felt like ice blocks but sweaty at the same time. So on the one hand, my fingers felt frozen in place and weren’t moving freely, and also they felt really sweaty so they kept sliding off the keys. Very frustrating when playing a fast Bach fugue, or scales. I think I will need to take a hot water bottle, or a rag for the sweat. It was a real pain.
This brings me to another point. Every piano is different, and somehow working out which type of piano you have in a few moments can be a challenge. You can usually tell by the tone what it’s going to be like. If it’s out of tune, which is like a cat howling, then chances are there will be sticking keys, and some keys will require less movement to depress than others. If you have a nice bright sounding piano, it could be technique brilliant to play, but for me slow movements just don’t really sing on those. I like the mellow sounds pianos the best. I think part of it is personality though.