The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons, including the dichotomy of experiences. In a world that had become too large, we sought solace in smaller communities of family and friends. When we couldn’t go outside, we looked inside. When we couldn’t go to events, mindfulness could be found in music at home. There are a wealth of studies into the benefits of listening to, or playing music, including the biology-music research of Harvard neurologist Dr Tramo who uses music to support patient rehabilitation.
There are various ways in which music can be used for mindfulness, taking care of ourselves and our communities:
Listening to music
Whether listening to the radio, collecting music from a favourite musician or finding new musical genres to explore, there are so many ways to listen to music, thanks to the advance of technology. If you’ve ever seen the film Shawshank Redemption it’s no surprise that one of the key empowering moments for prisoners is when an aria duet from one of Mozart’s most popular operas “The Marriage of Figaro” is played over the loudspeakers, creating a sense of euphoria throughout the prison.
Playing an instrument
Amateur or professional, guitarist, pianist or percussionist, there are a wide variety of instruments that people can play for fun and relaxation or career progression. Combine the skill with technology, and suddenly musicians all around the world can unite on the same screen, playing three minute stories to raise charitable funds, or to provide comfort to themselves and across their communities.
To sing or not to sing
Your audience may be the world, your pet stick insect or a mirror, but the physical and emotional connection from singing offers a chance to engage your mind with your body. Singing along to a favourite song, reciting a poem in a melody or creating your own songs can all feel uplifting and offer the opportunity for us to be more mindful.
There is no doubt from the medical professionals that listening to music can lower stress levels and anxiety, supporting the body’s immune system. Dancing around the kitchen sounds like a wonderful way to workout, doesn’t it?
What music will you listen to today?