Music and Personal Development

classical musicMusic is the universal language that can bring people of every race, background and belief together in a shared experience.

Confucius said, "Music produces a kind of pleasure human nature cannot do without."

On one occasion Confucius was so affected by music after listening to an orchestra that he was unable to taste his food for three months.

Few of us music lovers have experienced such dramatic after-effects from listening to music, however, there is no question it soothes, inspires and stirs the intellect and the emotions.

Benefits of Music

The benefits of music and its contribution to personal growth are immeasurable. It enriches us on so many levels and in so many aspects it is astonishing. For example:

 ♫ Music helps the young and old connect with themselves and others by encouraging communication, creativity and cooperation.

♫ Sight reading music has been found to enhance intellectual development by activating regions of the brain in all four cortex lobes and parts of the cerebellum.

♫ Listening to baroque music, such as Johann Pachelbel's Canon or Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, has been shown to enhance creativity. It synchronizes brain waves at about 60 cycles per second, thus increasing alpha wave activity. The alpha state produced by this frequency of mind is related to enhanced creativity and imagination.

♫ In the elderly, in fact for all of us, it helps decrease anxiety, depression and loneliness.

♫ Music can improve your workout, your brain and lung power  too! If you listen to music while you exercise you'll do more than without it. The combination of music and exercise also boosts brainpower more than either alone. One study showed that a bout of exercise enhanced verbal ability more when accompanied by Vivaldi music.

♫ According to a report in the journal Neuroscience of Behavior and Physiology music improves productivity by enhancing a person's ability to recognize visual images, including letters and numbers faster when music is being played in the background.

♫ Relaxing music induces sleep. Those who suffer from insomnia find that listening to Bach music can help them fall asleep. Research has shown that just 45 minutes of relaxing music before bedtime can make for a wonderfully restful night.

Music and Me

When it comes to my personal taste, I love music ranging from classical to various rock genres. I even enjoy some of the rap and hip hop with their different rhythms and beats that young people listen to.

Each decade from the sixties on has brought new and innovative bands and artists to be enjoyed. In fact, my husband has been a musician since he was a young boy and currently plays in a rock and roll band covering the tunes of the British Sixties bands (Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, Eric Burdon and The Animals and more).

Here are some of the genres in music that I love and listen to regularly.

Classical - including Symphony, Orchestral, Vocal, Band Music, Opera, Musical Theatre. Some of my favorite composers are Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninov:  artists include:  Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Bell

Jazz - including Free Jazz, Latin Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Big Band, Contemporary and Pop Jazz.Favorite artists include: John Coltrane, Stanley Clarke, Dave Brubeck, Chieli Minucci and locally John Drew and Alexander Zonjic.jazz music

New Age - Yanni, John Tesh 

Vocal Artists - Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, and my all time favorite Josh Groban

Rock - including Alternative, Pop Rock, Rock and Roll, Punk, New Wave, and some Rap (believe it or not)

Some Favorite Bands/Artists: Chicago, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, U2, ABC, Talk Talk, Live, Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eminem, Outkast, Greenday, Mutemath, Taio Cruz

These days there is such a wide variety of wonderful music to be found so gather a collection of your favorites and allow it to help you broaden your mental, physical and spiritual horizons.  

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