The Power of Music

Have you ever noticed that when you hear a song that you've not heard for a long time, the exact place, circumstances, and feelings of the first time you heard that song come back to you almost as though you had entered a time tunnel? Strange, isn't it? Music has, without a doubt, an extremely powerful influence upon all of us. It can calm us down--so much in fact that the increase of endorphins caused by listening to calm music for thirty minutes has been found to equal the effect of a dose of valium!

On the other hand, some music can make us CRAZY and wild (when was the last time you went to a rock concert?). Musicologist Julius Portnoy found that music can change metabolic rates, increase or decrease blood pressure, affect energy levels, and digestion positively or negatively, depending on the type of music. His studies indicate that it is the music itself,-- not the "lyrics", but the melody, the tones, the tunes, the rhythm, and the chords that account for these changes.

"Music has been a communication tool since humankind has existed. Music is a healer, a unifier. It breaks all the barriers between different nations. It relieves despair. It dampens war. Because when you listen to music, your brain is following your soul." (Angélique Kidjo--four of her seven albums have been nominated for Grammies.)

Isn't it awe-inspiring and maybe even a little scary to know that when we seek to learn music we are dealing with such a powerful tool? Kind of makes you want to do your best!

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