I’ve been singing something a lot lately. It’s silly really but it makes me feel better, keeps me going, even gives me courage…
why does this little ditty work?
Or why do I feel peaceful when listening to this piece of music?
I went looking for a journal article. Just to prove to myself that there was something in this sense of well-being. Here it is. In 2008 a group of physician researchers convinced 60 patients who had just had a middle cerebral artery stroke (they were “in the acute recovery phase”) to take part in a little experiment. At random, the patients were placed in three groups, a music listening group, a “language” group and a control group.
Everyone took neuropsychological assessments, cognitive tests and quality of life at the begining, at 3 months and at 6 months after their stroke. With all the testing its a wonder that only 6 patients dropped out of the project!
Everyone received the same standard of medical care and rehabilitation that they needed. The differences were the listening assignments. The music group listened to music daily, the language group listend to audio books daily, the control group were given no listening material.
Here’s the cool part. The music group had significant improvement in verbal memory and in focused attention as compared with the other two groups…AND they were less depressed and confused than the control group.
So with this one journal article, I say: sing, turn on those mp3’s, radios, cds, even if you are still in the dark ages, tapes, 8-tracks or records. Have a blast with a tin penny whistle, a guitar, a piano, a cello, a french horn….It’s great for your health!
Sarkarmo, T. et.al. (2008)Music listening enhances cognitive recovery and mood after middle cerebral artery stroke. Brain: The Journal of Neurology, 131(3). 866-876