January 2017


The Synergies of SOUND & The Powers of MUSIC

David A. Wright, MD, MBA, MHSA (Medical Legal Consultants of Greater Atlanta)

Dr. Wright is a Board Certified Physician Hypnotherapist, Board Certified NLP Practitioner, Board Certified TimeLine Therapy ® Practitioner, Board Certified NLP Mental Health Coach, & Psychoanalyst in training.

We’re all aware of the impact that sound and music have in our lives. In fact, sound and music are highly intricate parts of our lives. Sounds help us to wake up in the morning (Birds chirping, Cows Mooing, Alarm Clocks, Radios, etc.), they help get us through the day (talk radio, music stations, phones, etc.), and they help us to wind down at the end of the day (Relaxing Music, Meditation Tracks, Television, Ocean Waves, etc.). The ability to hear is one of our primary senses. And, consequently, it’s one of the first senses that we use. The ability to hear is also what helps facilitate our acquisition of language, a KEY to successful maturation in our culture.

Sound and Music are heavily integrated into our culture. We use them for both reception (i.e., to receive information) and for expression (i.e., to give information). In fact, musical expression is one of the most prized forms of expression in American culture—and, consequently, it’s one of the highest paying for those whose music is deemed to be of high value. Great singers are among the highest paid performers in our nation, and some of them are top earners (i.e., Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Celine Dione, Hall & Oates, The Commodores, Teddy Pendergrass, Alabama, Dolly Pardon, Taylor Swift, etc.). Sounds and Music are also huge parts of the religious experience at many institutions, churches, and synagogues. Religious Institutions use music to express emotions as well as to elicit emotions from congregants. We also use music extensively in cultural events, including festivals, celebrations, and activities.

However, how often do you actively utilize the power of sound &/or music in order to control how you feel, act, behave, and think??? Although, some people already do so, most people do not use sounds and music to control their moods, feelings, actions, behaviors, or thoughts
Here’s another great question: If you don’t already, then why don’t you?

Here are just a few of the reasons WHY you should be actively using Sound & Music to Improve your Life Experiences, your Level of Happiness, and your Probability of Success in your Everyday Endeavors:

  • A Stanford study shows that music engages areas of the brain which are involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating events in our memory (Baker, Mitzi. "Music moves brain to pay attention, Stanford study finds." Stanford Medicine. Accessed February 24, 2015)

  • Musicians are found to have superior working memory compared to non-musicians (Berti, et al., 2006; Pallesen et al., "Cognitive Control in Auditory Working Memory Is Enhanced in Musicians," PLOS One, June 15, 2010)

  • Musical experience strengthens many of the same aspects of brain function that are impaired in individuals with language and learning difficulties, such as the neural timing precision which allows differentiation between speech syllables (Kraus, N. and B. Chandrasekaran, Music training for the development of auditory skills. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2010.11: p. 599-605.)

  • Cross-sectional comparisons of musicians to non-musicians have established a variety of musician enhancements in auditory skills and their neural substrates, extending from enhanced perception and neural encoding of speech, most notably in suboptimal listening conditions, to more proficient auditory working memory and auditory attention (Nina Kraus, Dana L. Strait, "Emergence of biological markers of musicianship with school-based music instruction," Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2015)

  • Adults who receive formal music instruction as children have more robust brainstem responses to sound than peers who never participate in music lessons and that the magnitude of the response correlates with how recently training ceased. These results suggest that neural changes accompanying musical training during childhood are retained in adulthood (Skoe, E. & Kraus, N. 2012. A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood, Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 34, 11510. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1949-12.2012)

  • Music therapy utilizing improvisation on hand drums helped veterans modulate their "often misdirected, exaggerated, and unrecognized emotions," with the goal being generalization of these skills to everyday life. Drumming provided an opportunity for the men to express and control their feelings and helped build a sense of connectedness and group mission (Burt, J. W. (1995). Distant Thunder: Drumming with Vietnam Veterans. Music Therapy Perspectives, 13, 110-112; quoted in, "Music Therapy and the Military," by Ronna Kaplan, Huffington Post, March 4, 2013)

  • Researchers from Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center looked at how different types of music and silence were processed in the brains of 21 people with epilepsy. Whether listening to classical music or jazz, all of the participants had much higher levels of brain wave activity when listening to music, the study found. Brain wave activity in the epilepsy patients tended to synchronize more with the music, especially in the temporal lobe, the researchers said (Robert Preidt, HealthDay, August 10, 2015)

  • A review of 23 studies covering almost 1,500 patients found that listening to music reduced heart rate, blood pressure and anxiety in heart disease patients (Bradt & Dileo, "Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients," PubMed.Gov, 2009)

  • In research by Ferguson and Sheldon (2013), participants who listened to upbeat classical compositions by Aaron Copland, while actively trying to feel happier, felt their moods lift more than those who passively listened to the music. This suggests that engaging with music, rather than allowing it to wash over us, gives the experience extra emotional power (Ferguson and Sheldon, "Trying to be happier really can work: Two experimental studies," The Journal of Positive Psychology: Dedicated to furthering research and promoting good practice, 2013)

  • A study by Logeswaran et al. (2009) found that a quick blast of happy music made participants perceive other’s faces as happier. The same was true for a snippet of sad music. The biggest effect was seen when people looked at faces with a neutral expression. In other words: people projected the mood of the music they were listening to onto other people’s faces ( Logeswaran et al., "Crossmodal transfer of emotion by music," Neuroscience Letters, 2009)

  • Four out of five Americans (80%) believe their music education has contributed to their level of personal fulfillment (July 2014 Harris Poll)

  • Two-thirds (67%) of Americans say music education provides people with a disciplined approach to solving problems (July 2014 Harris Poll)

  • Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say that music education prepares someone to manage the tasks of their job more successfully (July 2014 Harris Poll)

I do hope that some of these facts “Resonate” with you. Sounds & Music have been shown to do everything from elevating mood to improving concentration to reducing pain to increasing memory to lowering blood pressure. To find out more about how you can use SOUND &/or MUSIC to help you achieve results, success, & prosperity, contact us at MLC of Greater Atlanta in order to schedule your FREE Initial Consultation TODAY! I guarantee you that the OUTCOMES will be Music to your Ears!!!

David A. Wright, MD, MBA, MHSA (Medical Legal Consultants of Greater Atlanta)

Dr. Wright is a Board Certified Physician Hypnotherapist, Board Certified NLP Practitioner, Board Certified TimeLine Therapy
® Practitioner, Board Certified NLP Mental Health Coach, & Psychoanalyst in training.

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