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Music's Effect on Human Mind and Body

Essay by   •  January 1, 2011  •  Essay  •  294 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,579 Views

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Music is everywhere. From the womb, you experience sound: your mother's heartbeat, breathing and muffled voice. Growing up you sing songs and hear music being played--you may even make your own music. From the discordant, irritating noise of traffic in the street to the soft, soothing Muzak played in the elevator and at shopping malls, music surrounds you and, may impact you without your knowledge. The constant honking of a car horn will tend to irritate you; whereas, a string quartet playing classical music has the tendency to calm you. As music's calming powers are its most noticeable results, it would prove worthwhile to explore the benefits of listening to music as a means of relaxation as well as what possible applications music may have in relation to this phenomenon.

Countless studies have shown that music's relaxing effects can be seen on anyone, including newborns. Music therapist Janel Caine explored the effects of music on preterm babies and low-weight newborns as part of her master's thesis at Florida State University.1 Her research included music's effects on stress behaviors, weight, caloric and formula intake and length of hospital stay. Fifty-two preterm and low-weight babies served as subjects, and were split into control and experimental groups. The control group received normal auditory stimulation while the experiment al group received musical stimulation from a 60-minute tape containing vocal music, including children's music and lullabies, as well as the normal auditory stimulation.

The experimental group had much shorter stays in both the newborn intensive care unit and the hospital itself as well as lower initial weight loss than the control group. Resulting weight gain was also lower in the experimental group. The experimental group's formula intake was much lower than the control group, however their caloric intake wasn't...

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