Classical Music Changes Lives
Can Classical Music Change Lives?
Can classical music improve a person’s mental, physical or emotional well-being?
Is there any documented evidence or empirical study to support this claim?
Cow’s Milk, Anyone?
Back in the year 2001, a team of research scientists from the University Of Leicester in the UK found that when cows were fed a daily dose of classical music, the quality of their milk improved.
If classical music can do that for cows, imagine what it can do for me and you?
Who has not heard of the Mozart effect?
A team of researchers published a study* to quantify the connection between listening to Mozart and a child’s Intelligence Quotient. The results showed exponential growth in the child’s intelligence in just a few short years.
Additionally, exposing premature born children to Mozart for just 30 minutes a day, resulted in their increased growth and development.
Ever heard about the Vivaldi effect?
Antonio Vivaldi was a virtuoso violinist and composer, whose was best remembered for his masterpiece, “The Four Seasons.”
According to Northumbria university study, subjects showed improved accuracy and less response time in the performance of tasks, after listening to Vivaldi.
New Brain Food.
In fact listening to Vivaldi’s “Four seasons,” has been heralded as the new brain food.
We’ve already discussed several benefits of music therapy in Music & Medicine.
There is a plethora of research documenting the benefits of listening to classic music – such as:
Improved alertness and Memory
Better quality of sleep
Depression and dementia
High blood pressure a problem?
Now there is hope for high blood pressure victims.
Research from the University of San Diego* found that listening to classical music for only 1/2 hour a day can help stabilize raising blood pressure levels.
But who would have thought of using classic music as a crime fighting prevention vehicle?
Classic Music & Crime
Can music actually play a part in reducing violent crime, drug addiction and the a host of societal ills?
In the year 2003, city officials started playing classical music at several train stations in London.
The reasoning was that, since a lot of crime is impulsive – then external stimuli – such as as classical music – could have a soothing effect on primeval behavior.
Did it work?
It is often said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating – and the results were simply astounding.
In as little as 18 months – there were substantial decreases in robberies, assaults on staff and vandalism. In fact, the plan was so successful that a similar strategy was implemented in Portland, with police calls decreasing by some 40%.
El Sistema is a voluntary music education founded by a Venezuela musician, educator and activist Antonio Abreu, in 1975.
“El” Sistema” simply means “system” and is synonymous with the word “network.”
The social action for music program has become so successful in impacting the lives of children in Venezuela that it has been adopted in the U.S., England and other countries.
Over 300,000 children in Venezuela have had their lives changed by the program, and they love to boast about it.
“I would have been dead, or still smoking pot,” said a french horn player from the Silver Bolivar Youth Orchestra. “Joining the orchestra not only changed my life, but my whole family’s.”
He went on to say that his father was drinking far too much, and his brothers had dropped out of school.
“But when I got hooked on my instrument, my father stopped drinking and one by one, my brothers went back to school.”
So back to the original question – Can classical music change your life?
Answer: Classic music not only changes lives – but saves them too.
Any question, comments, criticisms or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Sources: The Telegraph, article by Julian LLoyd Webber, 6th November, 2008.
WQXR – April 8/13
Return Of Kings – Jon Antoni Jan 10, 2016.
*JSRM – April 2001