Back in 2009, the Weil Music Institute of Carnegie Hall, one of live music’s most world-renown venues, decided to give back to the community and launched the Musical Connections Program. The idea for this program was borne of the philosophy that:
- The transformative power of music can bring hope and relief to those experiencing challenges or problems in life
- Everyone, regardless of means, should have the opportunity to have music in their lives.
The program also supports the relatively new idea taking root in more and more circles that there is a direct link between music and healthcare. On its surface this may seem like a controversial and “new-agey” theory, but anyone who looks deeper will find a host of facts evident in real-world health and wellness scenarios.
Music for focus
For example, music has proven effective at soothing hospital patients in between visits from family and friends. Conversely, hospital staff often play music during surgery in order to boost focus and facilitate efficiency. Music also works to minimize the negative effects of the demands often placed on patients in Intensive Care Units.
Patients of all ages
And there’s no age limit for the health benefits offered by music. To alleviate stress staff members often play music for newborns in the neonatal wards of hospitals. On the other end of the spectrum music often helps those nearing the end of their lives to cope with physical symptoms and declines in health.
Music as therapy
Music has is also effective as a therapeutic mechanism for patients suffering a wide range of conditions. Evidenced-based practices show music can support those suffering from everything from cancer and brain trauma to stress and schizophrenia. It’s precisely because of music’s far-reaching effects that it is being used more and more on a clinical level to help with patient treatment.
A study was conducted at Brunel University in London that suggests there is a direct correlation between listening to music and heightened endurance, sometimes as much as 15 percent. This can be seen in the fact more people prefer to perform their exercise routines while listening to music than those who don’t.
Music, technology and wellness
There are also a number of mobile applications currently on the market that promote the link between music and health. One such app is Ubrain, which touts its ability to help with waking up, relaxation, stress reduction and focus. It does this by using beats in each ear to stimulate certain brain activity. Many psychologists, such as Brigitte Forgeot, state that it’s just the ability to induce brain waves from the cerebral cortex that can create different states of mental alertness.
But above all else music can help lower the cost of healthcare in a real-world way. Besides the myriad ways mentioned above that music can help, it also can encourage people to commit to routines of exercise and preventative care. The bottom line is that music has become, for very good reason, a highly effective tool in the belt of healthcare providers.