Music As a Motivator

Heart & headphones

By Julie Oshins, “Play It Forward”

You know how there are different types of intelligence? For example, emotional intelligence, street smarts, etc. A friend of mine recently observed that our career (as djs) requires a type of intelligence that helps people connect to music and movement. It inspired me to pull a book off the shelf, This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin. I’m curious about what exactly music does to the brain.

According to Levitin, “Musical intelligence is the capacity to think in music and rhythm. People possessing it are considered to have a strong appreciation for music . . .and generally enjoy being immersed in music.” Sounds about right, yes? I think most of us would identify with this.

The book also confirms that music is energy and vibration. Music has a powerful influence on a listener’s heart rate. If you have ever felt a surge of energy when your favorite upbeat song comes on, or if you listen to slow music to relax, the emotions you experience are directly linked to what music does to your heart rate.The listener’s brain and body pick up on the tempo and rhythm of the music, and the heart beats to match them.

So there’s a reason we wear out Party Rock Anthem or the new Rhianna song when looking for a pick-me up: Music lights up the brain’s pleasure center in a similar way that sex, food, and drugs do. Music can spark changes in heart rate and breathing, and studies have found that it can also treat depression and anxiety. Listening to music for about an hour a day can help reduce fatigue, according to a recent study. Music MAY also play a key role in cell growth and repair, keeping your insides spry, says Miguel-Angel Mayoral-Chavez, M.D., Ph.D. Just make sure the beats are, well, upbeat!  “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music. Billy Joel

More dramatically, music may be able to help people with severe brain injuries recover their speech. (Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford’s medical team, for example, incorporated music into her treatment.)

“Music is an automatic motivator,” Morrow said. “It is the easiest way to get you in a good mood, to bring you out of the situation you’re in and bring you to a new place.”

Melodies are known to affect the hypothalamus and amygdala, which regulate emotions and moods through hormones like oxytocin and prolactin, both of which have consoling effects. And apparently different kinds of tunes can raise or lower blood pressure as much as drugs can.

And music therapy is also used with Alzheimer’s patients. Because music brings up memories! Music is the BEST Time machine.

One of the things I always tell my wedding couples is “ what do you want to hear, that years from now, decades from now, will always make you think of your wedding day, and how happy you were on that day?” It helps them make choices organically, and they really feel like the music is all about them.

Music is the window to the soul and gives us access to our harmonious and spiritual self.

As DJs we set the intention to help people connect to this side of themselves purposefully.  A “Sound Scientist”! Cosmic conductors in helping listeners reach that state of bliss…

Music is Life. That’s why our hearts have Beats! <3

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