It is interesting to discover something that does a lot of good and costs little or nothing. We’re talking about the marvel of music. It has been determined that by introducing music to children in pre-school years, either by teaching them to play a musical instrument and/or playing classical music in their presence, enables them to arrive in early grades with superior learning skills.
Students who listened to Mozart compositions before taking an exam performed better than those who did not get this treatment. We have often heard of the Mozart effect. But now comes increasing evidence that music therapy can improve a variety of mental and physical problems. For example, those who were about to undergo a potentially painful medical or dental procedure listened to peaceful music for 20 minutes and experienced lower heart rate and were able to tolerate the pain better than those who had the experience without the music therapy. It was determined that focusing on positive associations with the music actually distracted them from the pain that otherwise might have been felt.
A study published a few year s ago reported that patients over 50 with mild hypertension lowered blood pressure by 16 points systolic and nine points diastolic after a 12 week program of mucic therapy. Those who used medication alone reduced their systolic pressure (top number) by nine points and diastolic (bottom number) by four points.
When you add to this the fact that music can help to fight off depression and reduce anxiety, you will have plenty of reasons to be impressed with the marvels of music.
--ARTHUR S. ANDERSON